Most Americans say the economy and inflation are the most important issues determining who they will support for president in November

New ABC News/Ipsos polling finds that President Biden’s approval remains low

The author(s)
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Sarah Feldman Editorial Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Charlie Rollason Senior Research Manager, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, May 5, 2024—New ABC News/Ipsos polling finds that President Biden’s approval rating hovers in the mid-to-high 30’s, statistically unchanged from January. The economy and inflation remain the most important issues for Americans when determining who they may support for president in November. More Americans trust Trump over Biden on these issues and feel they were better off financially under Trump than Biden. However, Americans’ views on both of the candidates remain dim, with many feeling both candidates are too old and not trustworthy. Overall, the 2024 election remains a toss-up.

Graphic with the headline, "Most Americans say the economy and inflation are the most important issues determining who they will support for president in November"

For more information about this study, please click here or here.

Detailed Findings:

1. President Biden’s approval rating remains low as more approve of the job former President Trump did in office.

  • President Biden’s approval rating remains low with 35% of Americans saying they approve of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president, while 57% say they disapprove and 8% say they have no opinion or skipped the question. His approval numbers remain statistically unchanged from his January approval rating (33% January vs. 35% April).
  • When asked whether Americans approve of the way Donald Trump handled his job when he was president, 44% of Americans say they approve of him, 50% say they disapprove, and 7% say they have no opinion or skipped the question. This is roughly in line with ABC News/Ipsos polling from January 2024 when 41% said they approved of the job Trump did in office. It is also higher than Trump’s 38% approval rating from when he left office in January 2021.

2. Overall, the economy and inflation are the most important issues for Americans in determining who they will support for president in November. More Americans trust Trump on these issues than Biden.

  • The economy (88%) and inflation (85%) are the issues that Americans say will be most important for them in determining which candidate they will support in November. Nearly half of Americans say the economy (44%) and inflation (45%) are one of the single most important issues for them.
  • More Americans trust Trump to handle the economy and inflation over Biden. Forty-six percent trust Trump and 32% trust Biden on the economy; meanwhile, 44% trust Trump and 30% trust Biden on inflation.
  • Relatedly, more Americans say that they are not as well off (43%) since Biden became president than those who say they are better off (16%), though many also say they are about the same (40%). On the other hand, in November 2018, a majority of Americans (60%) said they were about in the same place as when Trump became president, with fewer saying they were not as well off (13%) and more saying they were better off (25%).
  • Following the economy, crime and safety (77%), health care (76%), and protecting American democracy (76%) are the next most important issues for Americans in determining their support for a presidential candidate. Biden outperforms Trump on health care (39% trust Biden on health care vs. 34% Trump). Equal shares of Americans trust Biden (38%) and Trump (38%) in protecting American democracy. However, more Americans trust Trump (41%) on crime and safety over Biden (33%).
  • These issues rank as more important in determining who people will vote for than immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border (69%), gun violence (66%), America’s standing in the world (63%), access to abortion (57%), and the war between Israel and Hamas (48%). For more information on the findings around public opinion on the Israel and Hamas war read below or follow this link.
Graph with the headline, "More Americans trust Trump to handle the economy and inflation than Biden"

3. Most Americans think both Biden and Trump are too old, and few have a positive view of the candidates.

  • Fifty-three percent of Americans feel that Biden and Trump are both too old, though slightly more Americans feel that only Biden is too old (28%) than only Trump (2%). Relatedly, more feel that Trump (42%) has the mental sharpness it takes to serve effectively as president than Biden (23%), and more feel that Trump (42%) is in good enough physical health to serve effectively as the president than Biden (20%).
  • A plurality (42%) of Americans feels that the statement “He is honest and trustworthy” does not apply to either Biden or Trump. However, more feel that statement fits Biden (37%) than Trump (21%).

4. Looking at views among all Americans, the 2024 presidential election remains close.

  • If the 2024 presidential election were held today, Americans are divided between supporting former President Trump and President Biden (40% for Trump vs. 38% for Biden).  These numbers represent views among all Americans, not registered or likely voters.
  • Among those who say they would support Trump, 16% say they would reconsider supporting him and 4% they would no longer support him if he is convicted of the New York felony charges. Four in five say they would continue to support him.
  • More Americans say they strongly support Trump (55%) as their candidate than Biden (44%). However, Biden wins more support among Americans who say they mainly dislike the other candidate (25% for Biden vs. 12% for Trump).
  • Third-party support remains low with 7% of Americans saying they would vote for someone else other than Trump or Biden, and 14% saying they would not vote. Among people who would not vote, when asked who they might favor in the presidency, support between Trump and Biden is split (46% Trump vs. 44% Biden).

About the Study

This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted April 25 to 30, 2024, by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 2, 260 adults age 18 or older. Forty-five respondents were removed from the data for either refusing to answer 50% or more of all eligible questions or for completing the survey within 1% fastest completion durations.

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error takes into account the design effect, which was 1.1. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on sub-samples. Sampling error is only one potential source of error. There may be other unmeasured non-sampling error in this or any poll. In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent.

The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, the largest and most well-established online probability-based panel that is representative of the adult US population. Our recruitment process employs a scientifically developed addressed-based sampling methodology using the latest Delivery Sequence File of the USPS – a database with full coverage of all delivery points in the US. Households invited to join the panel are randomly selected from all available households in the U.S. Persons in the sampled households are invited to join and participate in the panel. Those selected who do not already have internet access are provided a tablet and internet connection at no cost to the panel member. Those who join the panel and who are selected to participate in a survey are sent a unique password-protected log-in used to complete surveys online. As a result of our recruitment and sampling methodologies, samples from KnowledgePanel cover all households regardless of their phone or internet status and findings can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to the general population. KnowledgePanel members receive a per survey incentive, usually the equivalent of $1 (though for some it is $2) in points, that can be redeemed for cash or prizes. No prenotification email for this study was sent prior to field. Panelists receive a unique login to the survey and are only able to complete it one time. One reminder email was sent for this study.

The study was conducted in both English and Spanish. The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, Census region by metropolitan status, household income, language dominance, and 2020 presidential vote choice. The demographic benchmarks came from 2023 March Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS) from the US Census Bureau. Language dominance benchmarks are from the 2022 American Community Survey (ACS). The 2020 presidential vote choice benchmarks came from the federal elections 2020 election results for the U.S. President. The weighting categories were as follows:

  • Gender (Male, Female) by Age (18–29, 30–44, 45–59, and 60+)
  • Race/Hispanic Ethnicity (White Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Other or 2+ Races Non-Hispanic, Hispanic)
  • Education (No high school diploma or GED, High school graduate (high school diploma or the equivalent GED), Some college or Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or above)
  • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West) by Metropolitan status (Metro, non-Metro)
  • Household Income (Under $25,000, $25,000-$49,999, $50,000-$74,999, $75,000-$99,999, $100,000-$149,999, $150,000+)
  • Language Dominance (English dominant, Bilingual, Spanish dominant, non-Hispanic)
  • 2020 Presidential Vote Choice (Biden, Trump, Another candidate, Not asked).

About Ipsos

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Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. Our 75 solutions are based on primary data from our surveys, social media monitoring, and qualitative or observational techniques.

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The author(s)
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Sarah Feldman Editorial Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Charlie Rollason Senior Research Manager, US, Public Affairs