Do independents like Democratic or Republican candidates better?

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Contrary to the stereotype, most Americans aren’t planning to clog the ballot boxes, but instead say they’re excited about the candidates they’ll be voting for in next week’s midterm elections.

According to a new national poll conducted by HarrisX for the Deseret News, 7 in 10 voters say they are “excited” about the candidates they vote for in the US House and Senate races.

The narrative that this year’s candidates were too extreme for general election voters, especially on the Republican sidewas not confirmed when voters were asked what they thought of their choices at the ballot box.

When asked whether Democrats or Republicans had done a better job picking candidates for midterms, 83% of Democratic and Republican likely voters said they were satisfied with the candidates chosen by their respective parties. Fewer supporters were enthusiastic about candidates chosen by the other party – just 6% of voters said both parties had done a good job choosing candidates.

Independent voters were more likely to say Republicans had done a better job picking candidates — 33% choosing Republicans versus 28% for Democrats. This discovery follows the latest polls showing that independent voters who made a late decision are breaking for Republicans as Election Day approaches.

A quarter of independent voters said neither party did a good job, and 14% said both parties chose good candidates.

Suburban and rural voters were more likely to say Republicans picked candidates better, as were working-class and middle-class voters. Black and higher-income voters were more likely to say Democrats had done a better job. Latinos were more divided — 34% said Democrats did a better job, 26% picked Republicans, while 12% said both parties picked good candidates and 27% said neither one nor the other.

When voters were asked if they were excited about the candidate they were voting for, or if they simply voted for them because of their party affiliation, 7 in 10 likely voters said they were excited about their choice, while 3 in 10 said they were only voting for the candidate he chose because of his political party. The Deseret/HarrisX poll found that voters had equal levels of enthusiasm for candidates for the US House and Senate.

Independents were slightly less enthusiastic — just 65% said they were excited about their favorite House candidate and 60% said the same about their choice for the Senate.

The Deseret News/Harrix national poll was taken Oct. 25-26 of 630 likely voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

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