Reuters/Ipsos Core Political Survey: Presidential Approval Tracker (08/12/2020)

The economy remains a top issue for many Americans; Biden remains in the lead among registered voters

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, August 12, 2020 – In this week’s Reuters/Ipsos Core Political Survey, Americans are concerned with the where the country is headed. The economy, jobs, and healthcare remain top of mind issues for many Americans. President Donald Trump continues to receive support from about two in five Americans on his handling of the presidency. Former Vice President Joe Biden remains the frontrunner in the general election.

Seven in ten Americans (69%) and registered voters (71%) say the country is off on the wrong track.

  • An overwhelming majority of Democratic registered voters are concerned about the direction of the country, with 91% reporting the country is headed off on the wrong track.
  • Republican registered voters are more generous in their evaluation of how things are going in the country, with 47% saying the country is headed in the right direction, but notably, this is more than a 20-point drop from February of this year.

Right Direction/ Wrong Track

The economy and jobs are the most important issues for 29% of Americans, followed by healthcare (19%) and other issues (16%).

  • Americans continue to volunteer the coronavirus pandemic, poor executive leadership, racism, and extreme partisanship on both sides as major issues facing the nation.
  • Healthcare (28%) and the economy and jobs (25%) are the most commonly cited issues for Democratic registered voters. Twenty percent of Democratic registered voters volunteer issues like coronavirus, racism and the current administration as most important.
  • One third of Republican registered voters continue to be focused on the economy and jobs (36%), while 13% are concerned with healthcare and 12% are concerned with morality. Just 10% of Republicans registered voters cite other issues as the most important (a seven-point drop from last week) volunteering crime and Democratic opposition to the president as the most important problems.

Important Problem

Forty percent of Americans approve of President Trump’s overall job performance.

  • Republican registered voters are extremely supportive of the president this week, with 87% approving of his performance, up six points from last week.
  • A similar number of Democratic registered voters disapprove of the job the president is doing (91%).

Trump Approval


If the election for president were held today, about half of registered voters say they would support Biden (49%) in his bid, while 38% say they would support Trump.

  • Both candidates continue to receive strong support from their respective parties: 84% of Republican registered voters would support Trump, and 86% of Democratic registered voters would support Biden.
  • About 5% of registered voters say they are currently not sure who they would vote for if the election were held today.



About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 10-11, 2020 on behalf of Thomson Reuters. For this survey, a sample of 1,215 Americans age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii were interviewed online in English. The sample includes 1,034 registered voters, 521 Democratic registered voters, 386 Republican registered voters, and 93 independent registered voters. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Americans been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. The poll also has a credibility interval of ± 3.5 percentage points for all registered voters, ± 4.9 percentage points for Democratic registered voters, ± 5.7 percentage points for Republican registered voters, and ± 11.6 percentage points for independent registered voters.  

For more information on this news release, please contact:

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

Kate Silverstein
Media Relations, US
Public Affairs
+1 718 755-8829
[email protected]

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The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs