Reuters/Ipsos Core Political Survey: Presidential Approval Tracker (08/19/2020)

Trump's overall approval rating is steady

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 19, 2020 –   As the presidential election campaign formally begins this week with the start of the Democratic National Convention, this week’s Reuters/Ipsos Core Political survey finds most Americans believe the country is not on the right path. The economy, jobs, and healthcare are top of mind for most Americans as major issues the country faces. President Donald Trump’s approval rating remains low but stable. Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to hold a slight edge over President Trump among registered voters in the election for president.

Two-thirds of Americans (65%) say the country is off on the wrong track, down four points from last week.

  • Republican registered voters are feeling a bit better about the direction of the country this week (50% say the country is on the right track) than a month ago when just 41% said the country is on the right track.
  • Democratic registered voters’ perceptions on the direction of the country have been steady but extremely pessimistic (89% say the country is on the wrong track this week, and 88% said the same in July).

Right Direction/ Wrong Track

Thirty percent of Americans say the economy and jobs are the most important problem facing the nation. Healthcare is a central issue for 18% of Americans.

  • Democratic registered voters are slightly more focused on the economy and jobs this week (29%) than healthcare (23%). Twenty-three percent also volunteer issues like the coronavirus, the Trump administration, and racism as major problems.
  • Republican registered voters remain focused on the economy and jobs (34%). About 14% say they are concerned with issues like coronavirus, Democratic politicians and platforms, and crime as a result of protests. About 12% are focused on healthcare.

Important Problem

About two in five Americans approve of the job Trump is doing as president (39%).

  • Republican registered voters continue to overwhelmingly approve of Trump (85%), while Democratic registered voters disapprove with equal fervor (93%).
  • Looking at specific issues, about 47% approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, while just 39% approve of his handling of coronavirus.

Trump Approval


About half of registered voters say they would support Biden if the election for president were held today (48%), while 40% of registered voters say they would support Trump.

  • A small number of registered voters say they are unsure of who they will vote for (5%).
  • Independent registered voters are split between Biden (38%) and Trump (28%), and 16% say they are unsure of who they would support.



About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 14-18, 2020 on behalf of Thomson Reuters. For this survey, a sample of 1,391 Americans age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii were interviewed online in English. The sample includes 1,179 registered voters, 551 Democratic registered voters, 481 Republican registered voters, and 101 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 ± 3.0 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 ± 3.3 percentage points for all registered voters, ± 4.8 percentage points for Democratic registered voters, ± 5.1 percentage points for Republican registered voters, and ± 11.1 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]

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. We serve more than 5,000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

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The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs