U.S. Sen. Rick Scott continues to be confident that 2022 will be the Republicans’ year in battleground states.
“It’s going to be a hell of a 2022,” Scott said in a press call Monday, noting that President Joe Biden‘s “honeymoon is over.”
Scott, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, teamed up with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.
The two trumpeted positive polling for GOP aspirations in competitive elections next year, before discounting multiple reporters’ questions about whether former President Donald Trump could prove to be a distraction from midterm issues.
The NRSC-RGA Battleground Poll, conducted June 1-3, included 1,200 respondents in 26 battleground states, including Florida.
Respondents were asked about government assistance, with 62% of those polled agreeing that, “overly generous welfare and unemployment benefits are preventing people from looking for work despite job openings due to the fact that the government is paying them to stay at home.”
“Not smart to pay people not to work,” Scott’s longtime pollster, Curt Anderson of On Message, said.
Much of the polling segmented independent voters, showing them receptive to GOP messaging.
That includes 62% of independent respondents who believe America is headed in the “wrong direction” instead of being on the “right track.”
Meanwhile, 51% of independents oppose Biden administration spending plans, with just 35% in support, according to the polling.
And majorities of independent voters blame Biden for inflation and the migrant crisis stemming from a porous Mexican border. Vice President Kamala Harris, tasked by Biden to handle border issues, is seen as “not effective at all” by 51% of those surveyed.
Regarding Israel, polling shows 43% of independents support the government, with 13% backing Palestinians in the seemingly perennial conflict in the Holy Land.
Polling also saw favorable responses regarding seeking congressional candidates who are “checks and balances” against the Biden administration. On that, independents were split 50% to 31%. Biden, overall, sat at 44% approval to 50% disapproval among independents.
“That’s not very good territory to be in at this stage,” Anderson said.
Critical race theory, meanwhile, is another asset to Republican messaging and an “absolute disaster” for Democrats, as Scott put it.
Sixty-five percent of independent voters disagree with the idea that White people “are inherently racist whether they know it or not because they benefit from the American culture of systematic racism and white privilege.” And 76% take issue with the assertion that “the United States was founded on the practice of slavery and white supremacy which continues to this day.”
Scott said that “parents want their schools to teach what I was taught — reading, writing, and arithmetic — and not inundate them with radical left-wing theories.”
While the Senator was pointed in criticizing Democrats, his sharp rhetoric dulled yet again when confronted with the Trump question by reporters on the call.
“Our time is focused on defining the Democrats,” Scott said when asked about Trump wading into Republican primaries, including opposing incumbents like Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
Scott noted that a “lot of Republicans are going to endorse,” as if suggesting that Trump’s backing may not be central to many voters’ calculus in their 2022 votes.
When asked about a Trump effect, Scott again sounded agnostic.
“We didn’t do any polling on it,” Scott said.
Whether that polling is forthcoming remains to be seen, but Scott believes 2022 is “going to be about issues.”
See the full poll results here: NRSC-RGA Battleground Poll