Reuters/Ipsos Core Political Survey: Presidential Approval Tracker (11/18/2020)

Most Americans do not approve of how Trump is handling the transition period

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Senior Account Manager, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, November 18, 2020 –   In the latest Reuters/Ipsos Core Political survey, a majority of Americans continue to be concerned about the direction of the country, with most saying the nation is heading off on the wrong track. The economy, jobs, healthcare and coronavirus continue to be seen as the biggest issues facing the country. President Donald Trump’s approval rating has dipped slightly, and he receives low ratings on his handling of the transition period. President-elect Joe Biden receives positive marks among a majority of Americans for how he is handling his new position as president-elect.

Sixty-one percent of Americans say the country is heading off on the wrong track, while just 23% say things are moving in the right direction.

  • The dismay about the direction of the country spans the political spectrum, with 72% of Democratic registered voters, 72% of independent registered voters, and 49% of Republican registered voters all saying the country is heading off on the wrong track.

Right Direction/ Wrong Track

The economy and jobs (26%), healthcare (20%), and other issues (19%) remain the top concerns for many Americans.

  • About one in five Americans volunteers other issues as the main problem facing the country. The coronavirus pandemic is the most frequently volunteered response in this week’s survey.
  • Democratic registered voters are focused on healthcare (29%), the economy and jobs (23%), and other issues, like coronavirus (21%), as the top problems facing the country.
  • Republican registered voters say the economy and jobs (30%), and other issues, like coronavirus (18%), are their biggest concerns. Republicans are also concerned with immigration (11%), healthcare (11%) and morality (11%).

Important Problem

Sixty percent of Americans approve of how Joe Biden is handling his position as president-elect.

  • Democratic registered voters overwhelmingly approve (92%), and a majority of independent registered voters also approve (60%). Just 30% of Republican registered voters say they approve of how he is handling the position.

Biden Approval


Thirty-seven percent of Americans approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as president, a slight drop in his approval rating.

  • The minor shift is driven primarily by a nine percentage point decrease among Republican registered voters from last week (84%) to this week (75%).
  • Just a quarter of Americans approve of how Trump is handling the transition process from his administration to the Biden administration (26%), which is much lower than his overall approval rating and his approval ratings on other issues.

issue approval


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between November 13-17, 2020 on behalf of Thomson Reuters. For this survey, a sample of 1,346 Americans age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii were interviewed online in English. The sample includes 1,121 registered voters, 527 Democratic registered voters, 448 Republican registered voters, and 112 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, ± 4.9 percentage points for Democratic registered voters, ± 5.3 percentage points for Republican registered voters, and ± 10.6 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

Kate Silverstein
Media Relations, US
Public Affairs
+1 718 755-8829

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The author(s)

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