". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Trump Is Beating Biden in Latest Polls but by Razor-Thin Margins

April 18, 2024

New polling is suggesting that former President Donald Trump is leading incumbent Joe Biden by a thin margin, but it may not be enough to secure a Trump victory in November. According to the latest Emerson College nationwide survey released on Thursday, 46% of voters back Trump, against 43% who back Biden, with 12% undecided. When undecided voters are asked which way they lean towards voting, Trump’s overall support increases to 51% and Biden’s to 48%.

The current state of the economy, including jobs and inflation, seemingly play a significant role in which candidate voters prefer. Thirty-six percent of voters ranked the economy as their top issue going into November, ahead of 21% of voters who rated immigration as their top issue.

Seventy-five percent of those polled responded that they think the cost of living in the U.S. is rising. Of that 75%, 56% intend to vote for Trump and only 32% for Biden. Among voters who responded that the cost of living is “staying the same” (18%), 67% intend to back Biden and only 18% Trump. Among voters who responded that the cost of living is easing (7%), a staggering 94% intend to back Biden and only 6% intend to back Trump.

Trump also leads among voters who say that their family has an average (Trump at 46%, Biden at 44%), below average (Trump at 49%, Biden at 40%), or far below average (Trump at 50%, Biden at 32%) income. Biden leads Trump 50% to 42% among those who say their family has an above average income and 55% to 29% among those who say their family has a far above average income. Additionally, Biden leads Trump 51% to 38% among voters who say they work less than 20 hours a week, 52% to 37% among those who say they work 20 to 29 hours a week, and 45% to 43% among those who say they work 30 to 39 hours a week. Meanwhile, Trump leads Biden 50% to 38% among those who say they work 40 to 49 hours a week, 59% to 35% among those who say they work 50 to 59 hours a week, and a staggering 80% to 7% among those who say the work 60 hours a week or more.

Another poll released Thursday, the Harvard Youth Poll, found that the economy was also the top concern for voters aged 18 to 29. “Make no mistake, this is a different youth electorate than we saw in 2020 and 2022, and young voters are motivated by different things,” said John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics. “Economic issues are top of mind, housing is a major concern — and the gap between young men’s and young women’s political preferences is pronounced.”

Although Trump’s share of young voters is expanding, Biden still commands a strong lead over the demographic. Among voters under the age of 30, 45% intend to vote for Biden in November and 37% for Trump, with 16% undecided. Among registered voters under 30, the margin broadens: 50% back Biden and 37% back Trump, with 12% undecided. Among voters under 30 who self-identity as likely to vote in November, 56% back Biden and 37% back Trump, with only 6% undecided.

Following a national trend, economic issues were the top concern for voters under the age of 30. Sixty-four percent of respondents rated inflation as a major concern, 59% named health care, 56% named housing, and 53% named jobs. Abortion was an issue of concern for 50% of young voters, according to the survey. Additionally, when pollsters asked young voters which of two particular issues was more important to them, inflation was ranked more important than every other issue named except for abortion.

The Washington Stand asked FRC Action Director Matt Carpenter for his insights on new polling data. “This election cycle is feeling a lot like 2016, in that we are seeing noticeable movement among key groups that will prove decisive come November. In 2016, it was noncollege white voters in the Rust Belt states that put Trump over the top,” Carpenter explained. “This election it looks like noncollege voters of all ethnicities, as well as Gen Z and Millennial voters, are behaving more like a swing vote that could go either way than a single voting bloc. If that’s the case in the fall, then Biden is in real trouble.”

“It’s likely young voters who prioritized things like climate change and social justice in 2020 have been stung by the reality of inflation and the overall crisis in affordability since the election of Biden,” Carpenter noted. “These voters might not switch to vote for Trump outright, but if they stay home or vote third party, they can damage Biden’s reelection effort substantially. At this point in the campaign Biden should be focused on winning independent voters. Instead, he is having to spend precious time and resources to keep his 2020 coalition intact.”

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.