October 2, 2022

The latest CBS News Battleground Tracker takes a look at what — and who — would motivate voters to support a candidate.

For Republican voters, the candidate Trump supports — the one who angers liberals — is more likely to win their vote

Trump’s endorsement is seen as a plus among the core, especially frequent voters

For most Republicans, an endorsement from the former president is a plus for this candidate, and even more so among Republicans who say they “always” vote in Republican primaries, most of whom identify as MAGA Republicans.

Trump’s endorsement is less influential among Republicans who are less frequent primary voters, but overall, an endorsement from the former president is a net positive for this group of Republicans as well.


The 2020 election is still a factor for many Republicans

Beyond Trump himself, there’s also the desire among many Republicans for a candidate who says President Joe Biden didn’t legitimately win the 2020 election, perhaps unsurprisingly since two-thirds of Republicans still say Biden didn’t. legally.

By nearly four to one, Republicans would be more likely — rather than less likely — to support a candidate who says Mr. Biden did not legitimately win in 2020.

Just 8% of Republicans would be more likely to support a candidate they say Mr. Biden won legitimately.



A candidate holding a public office that Joe Biden legitimately won doesn’t garner much support even among Republicans who believe that’s true — most say it wouldn’t make any difference to them.

It’s Republicans who don’t believe Mr. Biden won legitimately (two-thirds of whom call themselves “MAGA” Republicans) who likely make up a larger share of the GOP primary electorate. By double digits, more say they always vote in the GOP primary than Republicans who think Biden actually won in 2020.


Making Liberals Angry: A Motivation for Republican MAGA Republicans

For Republican voters, a candidate who angers liberals seems to be as much a reason to support that candidate as an endorsement from Donald Trump. 53% of Republicans say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate to anger liberals, rising to 69% among MAGA Republicans.


We tested a number of potential candidate descriptors, including some that have been used by congressional candidates this year. For Republicans, a “MAGA Republican” would potentially be the most popular, with most saying they would support a candidate who described themselves as such. A “capitalist” would also be a net positive. Calling oneself a Christian nationalist garners a very small net positive among Republicans overall, but encourages strong support from very conservative and self-proclaimed “MAGA Republicans.”



What about January 6th?

Our poll showed that while most Republicans disapprove of the actions of those who forcibly entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, differ from voters overall in their descriptions of what happened that day. More Republicans see it as patriotism, rather than rebellion.

And two to one, Republicans tell us they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who criticized the events of that day.



For Democratic voters, most want a supporter of Biden’s policies, more of a factor than someone who angers conservatives

Democrats are more likely to support the progressive Black Lives Matter advocate

Most Democratic voters would be more likely to vote for a candidate who described themselves as a supporter of “Black Lives Matter,” a “social justice” Democrat, or a progressive, and this is even more true for those who always vote in primaries. they want a candidate who generally supports President Biden’s policies, which is far more important to them than a candidate who angers conservatives, although the latter appeals more to the party’s self-described progressives.



This CBS News/YouGov Battleground Tracker survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,743 registered voters interviewed between July 27-29, 2022. The sample was weighted by gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey of the US Census and the Current Population Survey, as well as for the 2020 presidential election. The margin of error is ± 3.0 points. The estimations of the seats of the Parliament are based on a multilevel regression and poststratification incorporating voter responses into this survey. Each party’s seat estimate has a margin of error of ±12 seats.

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