The New York Times / Siena College National Poll:
- If 2024 Produces Biden (44%) vs. Trump (41%) Rematch, Americans Can Expect Another Tight Election in a Fiercely Divided Country; Half of Reps want Trump as ’24 Nominee; By 2-to-1, Dems Want Nominee Other than Biden
- Americans Overwhelmingly Think Country is Headed in Wrong Direction
- Voters See Top National Issues as Economy (20%), Inflation (15%), the State of Democracy (11%), Gun Policies (10%) & Abortion (5%)
Loudonville, NY. Only 33% of American voters approve of the job President Joe Biden is doing, compared to 60% who disapprove, although Democrats approve 70-25%. Similarly, Biden’s favorability rating is negative 39-58%, but 85-14% with Democrats. Former President Donald Trump has an overall negative 39-57% favorability rating, but it is 80-16% with Republicans, according to The New York Times/Siena College poll of registered voters released today.
In a potential 2024 presidential rematch, Biden currently has a narrow three-point lead, 44-41%, over Trump. Among potential 2024 Republican primary voters, 49% would like to see Trump be the nominee, compared to 25% for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, with others in single digits. Only 26% of potential Democratic primary voters want to see Biden as the 2024 nominee, with 64% saying Democrats should nominate another candidate. By an overwhelming 77-13%, voters say the country is headed in the wrong direction.
“Biden is viewed favorably by 85% of Democrats, 70% of Democrats approve of the job Biden is doing as president. But they are alone in this polarized environment, with nearly nine in ten Republicans both viewing him unfavorably and disapproving of the job he is doing,” said Dr. Don Levy, Director, Siena College Research Institute. “Likewise, 80% of Republicans view Trump favorably, as 94% of Democrats view him unfavorably.
“Independent voters have strongly unfavorable views of both Biden, 30-68%, and Trump, 37-60%, helping to explain why both are significantly under water with a majority of Americans,” Levy said.
An Early Look at 2024
“If 2024 is a reprise of 2020, voters remain as closely divided today – Biden has a negligible three-point lead –as they were two years ago. Biden has the support of 92% of Democrats, while Trump has backing from 85% of Republicans, and independents tilt toward Trump 39-37%,” Levy said. “Biden has a 17-point lead with women, while Trump leads with men by 13 points. White voters lean toward Trump, Latinos lean toward Biden and Black voters are overwhelmingly behind Biden.
“While Democrats both overwhelmingly view Biden favorably and approve of the job he’s doing, voters planning to participate in the 2024 Democratic primary are hoping – by a wide margin – that Biden will not be the party’s nominee. Only among Black voters and voters 65 and older does Biden even have 40% saying they hope he is the ’24 candidate. Among voters under 30, 94% say they want a different nominee,” Levy said.
“Among those 64% of voters planning to participate in the Democratic primary in ’24 who don’t want Biden to be the nominee, one-third say it’s because of his age and one third say it’s based on poor job performance, with 12% saying they want someone new, and 10% saying Biden’s not progressive enough,” Levy said.
“Trump is the clear favorite among potential Republican primary voters, although DeSantis makes a significant showing – particularly among independents voting in the Republican primary, with whom he only trails Trump 37-32%. DeSantis has an overall 34-39% favorability rating but is viewed favorably by Republicans 63-10%. None of the other potential Republican hopefuls has made a significant dent with voters,” Levy said.
More than Three-Quarters of Americans Think the Country is Headed in the Wrong Direction
“Nearly nine in ten Republicans think the country is headed in the wrong direction, as do eight in ten independents and even 63% of Democrats – a rare point of agreement among all parties these days,” Levy said. “At least 70% of every demographic group – by region, gender, age, party, race, or education – say the country is headed in the wrong direction, except for Democrats, and Black voters – ‘only’ 54% of whom say the country is headed in the wrong direction.”
Pocketbook Issues Are Top Problems Facing US Today; Democracy & Social Issues Are Next Tier
Asked to name the most important problem facing the country today, 20% of voters say the economy (including jobs, stock market) and 15% say inflation and the cost of living. Those are followed by the state of democracy, 11%; gun policies, 10%, abortion/women’s rights, 5%, and Democrats/Biden, 3%. No other issue topped 2%.
“While pocketbook issues rise to the top for most voters, gun policies are the most important issue for Democrats, tied with inflation as the top concern among Black voters, and is the second most important issue for Latinos,” Levy said. “Abortion is only identified as the most important issues for 1% of men but for 9% of women, and 13% of voters under 30.”
Economy, Inflation, Democracy, Immigration Are Important Voting Issues in Midterms
Asked about the importance of various issues on their vote in this November’s elections, 96% said inflation and the cost of living were important (78% extremely important), 96% said the economy was important (76% extremely important), 93% said protecting democracy was important (79% extremely important), and 82% said immigration was important (45% extremely important).
“When it comes to economic issues – inflation and the economy – and protecting democracy, there is little difference among voters regardless of party or demographics. At least 61% of every demographic group says inflation is an extremely important issue in deciding their vote in November, at least 64% of all demographic groups say that the economy is extremely important, and at least 68% of each says protecting democracy is extremely important in casting their vote,” Levy said.
“Immigration divides a little more along party lines, although a majority of every group thinks the issue is important. However, while 32% of Democrats and 37% of independents think immigration is an extremely important voting issue for them, 68% of Republicans say it’s extremely important,” Levy said.
Majority Think Trump Threatened American Democracy Post-2020 Election; Republicans Disagree
A majority of voters, 55%, say Trump threatened American democracy through his actions following the 2020 elections, compared to 39% who say he was just exercising his right to contest the election.
“Not surprisingly, Democrats and Republicans regard Trump’s actions in the aftermath of the 2020 election very differently. While 92% of Democrats think Trump threatened democracy, 76% of Republicans said he was just exercising his right to contest the election. Independents side with Democrats, 56-37%, in saying Trump threatened democracy,” Levy said.
“There is also a gender gap with men tilting toward saying Trump threatened democracy, 48-45%, and women saying he threatened democracy nearly two-to-one, 60-33%,” Levy said. “Only voters with a high school degree or less education think Trump was simply contesting the election, 50-45%, while 51% of those with some college, 62% with a bachelor’s degree, and 79% with a graduate degree say Trump threatened democracy.”
This New York Times/Siena College survey of 849 registered voters nationwide was conducted in English and Spanish on landline and cellular telephones from July 5 to July 7, 2022. The survey is a response rate adjusted stratified sample of active registered voters on the L2 voter file. The survey was fielded by the Siena College Research Institute and ReconMR. Overall, 63% of respondents were reached on cellular telephones. The survey’s margin of error due to sampling is +/- 4.1%. It accounts for the survey’s design effect of 1.46, a measure of the loss of statistical power due to weighting. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social, and cultural research. SCRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. For more information, please contact Don Levy at 518-783-2901. Survey cross-tabulations and frequencies can be found at: www.Siena.edu/SCRI/SNY.