Views toward Trump, Biden unchanged after the conventions

New ABC News-Ipsos poll finds most Americans disapprove of what Republicans said and did during the RNC

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, August 30, 2020

A new ABC News-Ipsos poll conducted after the Republican National Convention (RNC) finds that Americans’ views toward the major party nominees remain unchanged from last week, after the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Around half of Americans report watching at least a little of the event – similar to the DNC’s reported viewership. A majority of Americans disapprove of what the Republicans said and did; however, among those that watched a lot or some, most have a positive view of the Republicans’ message.

Detailed findings:

1. Among all Americans, responses to the RNC are more negative than the DNC.

  • Slightly more than one in three Americans (37%) approve of what the Republicans said and did at their convention, compared to 59% who disapprove. After the DNC, 53% approved of the Democrats’ message.
  • Sixty-two percent feel the Republicans spent too much time criticizing the Democrats, compared to 51% of Americans who said Democrats spent too much time criticizing Republicans at their convention.

2. However, RNC viewers – a large share of whom identify as Republicans – are more positive toward the content and tone.

  • Overall, 48% of Americans report watching at least some of the RNC, similar to DNC viewership levels (50%). Nearly twice as many Republicans as Democrats report watching at least a little bit of the convention. (65% vs. 36%).
  • A majority (59%) of those that watched a lot or some of the convention approve of what the Republicans said or did.
  • Similar numbers of those that viewed a lot or some of the RNC say the Republicans struck the right balance between criticizing the Democrats and saying positive things about themselves (56%).
  • Eighty percent of Republicans – regardless of whether they watched the convention or not – approve of the Republicans’ message.

3. Biden’s and Trump’s standings, along with their running mates, remains unchanged from after the DNC.

  • Currently, 31% of Americans feel favorable toward Donald Trump, unchanged from last week (32%) and similar to his standing before both conventions (35%).
  • The same is true for Joe Biden: 46% feel favorable, virtually the same as last week (45%). However, more Americans feel positive toward Biden than negative, an improvement from earlier in August.
  • Just over a third of Americans (35%) approve of how Trump is handling the response to the coronavirus, unchanged from the end of July (34%).

About the Study

This ABC News/Ipsos Poll was conducted August 28 to August 29, 2020, by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 732 general population adults age 18 or older with small oversamples among Black and Hispanic respondents.

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, party identification, race/ethnicity by gender, race/ethnicity by age, and race/ethnicity by education. The demographic benchmarks came from the 2019 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)
  • Race/ethnicity (White/Other Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Hispanic) by Gender (Male, Female)
  • Race/ethnicity (White/Other Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Hispanic) by Age (18-44, 45+)
  • Race/ethnicity (White/Other Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Hispanic) by Education (Some College or less, Bachelor and beyond)

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.9 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 1.17. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on other 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.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Senior Vice President, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

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