Washington DC, November 5, 2023--The Republican Party is currently more trusted to do a better job of handling the economy, inflation, and crime, while Democrats hold an advantage in dealing with gun violence, education, and healthcare, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll of American adults age 18+. One year out from Election Day, the economy, inflation, healthcare, and education are the most important issues to the public. However, a sizable bloc – roughly three in ten to a third of Americans – do not trust either party to do a better job than the other on handling these issues. At the same time, the presumptive presidential nominees for each party, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, are both personally disliked by the public, with a majority feeling unfavorable toward them (with slightly more feeling unfavorable toward Trump). Yet, many Americans say if the Republicans or Democrats picked a nominee other than these two, it wouldn’t make a difference in their vote.
1. The Republican Party currently holds an advantage over the Democratic Party in handling the economy and inflation – the issue Americans say is currently most important to them. However, Democrats hold an advantage on other key issues of healthcare and education.
- Thirty five percent trust the Republican Party to do a better job of tackling inflation, compared to 21% who trust the Democrats. A similar pattern emerges on the economy (35% feel Republicans will do a better job 25% for Democrats).
- The Republican Party also holds a significant advantage over the Democratic Party in handling crime and immigration.
- More trust Democrats over Republicans to handle climate change, abortion, gun violence, education, and healthcare.
- Overall, attitudes have not shifted significantly since we last asked roughly one year ago. However, there has been a slight uptick in the number of Americans who say neither party holds an advantage. Roughly three in ten, or more, do not put their faith in either party to do a better job on these issues.
- Political independents are more inclined to say neither party has an advantage on these issues. When it comes to the key issue of the economy and inflation, more younger Americans – those under age 50, but primarily those under age 30 – also say “neither.”
2. More Americans view the economy as personally very important to them than any other issue tested in the survey. Beyond the economy, however, the top issues differ widely depending on one’s party affiliation.
- Virtually all American adults see the economy or inflation as very or somewhat important (97% and 95%, respectively). There is strong intensity behind these feelings, too; 74% say the economy is personally very important to them, and 69% say the same about inflation.
- Following these two are healthcare (64% very important), education (61% very important), crime (57% very important), and gun violence (56% very important).
- Though many of these issues are seen as universally important, there are some key differences by party affiliation. For example, Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats to say the economy is very important to them.
- Climate change and gun violence are particularly polarizing issues, as there is a more than 40 percentage point difference in the strong importance between Democrats and Republicans, with the former significantly more likely to say these are very important issues to them.
3. When asked if someone other than the presumptive nominees, Biden and Trump, was chosen as their party’s candidate in 2024, most partisans say it would make no difference in their vote. This is slightly more true for Biden than Trump.
- First, when asked to rate the favorability of each man, both are viewed as unfavorable by the public, with Trump viewed as slightly more so (50% are unfavorable toward Biden, 60% toward Trump).
- This dislike is driven by intense unfavorable ratings among partisans – 89% of Republicans feel negative toward Biden, and 92% of Democrats feel the same about Trump.
- Biden fares slightly better among political independents; 49% feel unfavorable toward him compared to 69% who feel negative toward Trump.
- Among all adults (not registered voters or likely voters), 48% say if someone other than Trump was the Republican Party’s nominee, it would make no difference in their vote. Fifty five percent say the same if the Democratic nominee was someone other than Joe Biden.
- For those who identify as Democrats, 36% say they would be more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate if it was someone other than Joe Biden, just 1% say they would be less likely, but a 60% majority say it would make no difference (another 2% would not vote).
- However, self-described Republicans show slightly less likelihood to support someone other than Trump. If Trump was not on the ballot, 9% would be less likely to vote for the Republican candidate, and 4% would not vote. Thirty seven percent say a different nominee would make them more likely to vote for the Republican candidate, and 49% say it would make no difference.
About the Study
This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted November 3 to 4, 2023, by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 949 adults age 18 or older with oversamples among Black and Hispanic respondents.
One respondent was removed from the final data for refusing all of the survey items.
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. No reminder emails were 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, metropolitan status, household income, and party identification. The demographic benchmarks came from 2022 Current Population Survey (CPS) from the US Census Bureau. Party ID benchmarks are from recent ABC News/Washington Post telephone polls. The weighting categories were as follows:
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 2022 Current Population Survey (CPS) from the US Census Bureau. 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 3.3 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 1.09. 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.
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