Views of Trump and Biden stable heading into last week of campaign

New ABC News/Ipsos poll finds most Americans continue to be concerned with the coronavirus, disapprove of the President’s handling of it.

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, October 25, 2020

Heading into the final full week of the campaign before the election, the latest ABC News/Ipsos poll finds views of the two candidates are largely unchanged since the Conventions. President Trump does appear to be rallying some of the groups who traditionally support him, but favorability towards him remains decidedly negative. Joe Biden, meanwhile, continues to break nearly even with as many viewing him favorably as unfavorable. This comes as the large majority of Americans continue to be concerned about potential coronavirus infection.

1. While favorability ratings towards Donald Trump remain decidedly unfavorable, it has improved somewhat since after the Republican Convention in August. This appears to be marked by attitudes among some of his normal constituencies improving.

  • Favorability towards Trump currently stands at 35% favorable, 57% unfavorable. 
  • Compared to late August, favorability towards Trump has improved the most among younger people (<30 years old; 20% favorable -> 30% favorable), non-college whites (48% favorable -> 55% favorable), residents of the South (32% -> 42%), and Independents (29% -> 36%).
  • Favorability towards Trump is essentially unchanged among Republicans, Democrats, Americans over 65 years old, minorities, whites with a college degree, and Midwesterners.


2. Sentiment towards Joe Biden remains mixed with roughly equal levels of favorable and unfavorable attitudes.

  • Favorability towards Biden currently stands at 44% favorable, 43% unfavorable.

3. Views of President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, while largely unchanged, have also improved slightly from early October.

  • Currently, 38% of Americans approve of the way Donald Trump is handling the response to the coronavirus, up from 35% in early October.
  • The improvement is largely driven by changes in attitudes of respondents living in the South, who have improved from 39% approval to 45% now. 

4. Most Americans continue to be concerned about potential coronavirus infection.

  • Currently three-quarters (78%) are somewhat or very concerned that they or someone they know will be infected.
  • Compared to early October, Democrats and Republicans have moved further apart on levels of concern suggesting continued partisanization of the issue. Virtually all Democrats express concern (86% concerned -> 96% concerned) while only about two-thirds of Republicans say the same (70% -> 60%).
  • Additionally, levels of concern have dropped in the Northeast (93% concerned -> 84% concerned) and the South (82% -> 76%) while climbing in the Midwest (75% -> 80%).

About the Study

This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted October 23 to October 24, 2020 by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 551 general population adults age 18 or older.

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.

The study was conducted in both English and Spanish. The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, Census region, metropolitan status, household income, and party identification. The demographic benchmarks came from the 2020 March supplement of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS). Party ID benchmarks are from recent ABC News/Washington Post telephone polls. 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 (High School graduate or less, Some College, Bachelor and beyond)
  • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West)
  • 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+)
  • Party ID (Democrat, Republican, Independent, Something else)

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.8 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 1.3. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on sub-samples. 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.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

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. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP


The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs