We asked likely voters who they trust more (Trump or Biden) on four important kitchen table issues: "keeping America safe," "growing the U.S. economy," healthcare policy and immigration policy. What we found was very emblematic of the horse race right now: voters are split between the two nominees and issues.
Voters trusted President Trump more than Joe Biden to "keep America safe" and "grow the U.S. economy," while voters trusted Biden more on immigration policy and healthcare policy. These are all important kitchen table issues, but at the moment safety and the economy might matter more in this election. Joe Biden will have to steer the conversation back toward an issue Democrats are likely to win with, which is healthcare policy.
In light of recent events, the issue of "keeping America safe" favors President Trump. Among the demographics we surveyed, the issue of safety was split down partisan lines. Younger voters aged 18-29 (Biden leads Trump 45% to 34%) and women (Biden leads Trump 51% to 36%) were more likely to believe Joe Biden would "keep America safe," while voters aged 25-34 (Trump leads Biden 46% to 38%), voters aged 30-49 (Trump leads Biden 51% to 39%) and men (Trump leads Biden 58% to 32%) felt Trump was better equipped to "keep America safe," especially since he has branded himself the "law and order" president. Biden scored big with suburban voters (Biden leads Trump 49% to 39%) and suburban women (Biden leads Trump 56% to 31%), but Trump performed better on the issue of safety with voters in large cities (Trump leads Biden 52% to 38%), voters in small cities (Trump leads Biden 47% to 38%) and urban parents (Trump leads Biden 63% to 28%). Trump's improved performance with urban voters is the direct effect of rioting and violence in cities across the nation. Trump is also benefiting from a "post convention bounce" as he performed better than Biden 42% to 37% among the Independent voters on the issue of safety.
The U.S. economy will be another important issue front and center in the election. More voters trusted Trump than Biden with "growing the U.S. economy," but the same division along partisan lines continued among demographic sub-groups: Men (Trump leads Biden 56% to 33%) and voters aged 30-64 (Trump leads Biden 50% to 41%) trusted the president on the economy, while women (Biden leads Trump 52% to 37%) and younger voters aged 18-29 (Biden leads Trump 46% to 32%) trusted Biden more to "grow the U.S. economy." But among important swing groups, such as, Independents (Trump leads Biden 41% to 37%), large city voters (Trump leads Biden 51% to 40%), voters who voted for both Obama and Trump (Trump leads Biden 66% to 25%), the president performed better than Biden on the issue of "growing the U.S. economy."
Biden still won with very important sub-groups such as suburban voters (Biden leads Trump 46% to 40%), suburban women (Biden leads Trump 54% to 33%) and voters without college degrees (Biden leads Trump 47% to 41%). All three of these groups were important to Trump's victory in 2016.
The former vice president performed better than Trump on the other kitchen table issues, such as, healthcare policy (Biden leads Trump 45% to 41%), and immigration policy (Biden leads Trump 44% to 43%). More importantly, Biden won in the Central/Great Lakes region on healthcare policy (Biden leads Trump 50% to 39%) and immigration policy (Biden leads Trump 47% to 40%); He also performed better than Trump in the West region on healthcare policy (Biden leads 49% to 33%) and immigration policy (Biden leads 47% to 36%). Biden continued his dominant ways by beating Trump in the East region on healthcare (Biden leads 47% to 38%) and immigration policies (Biden leads 45% to 42%). Not surprisingly, Trump performed well with voters on healthcare policy (Trump leads 48% to 38%) and immigration policy (Trump leads 49% to 41%) in the South region.
When it came to other important groups, such as, Independents, suburban voters, suburban women, and non-college degree voters, Biden performed better than the president on the issues of healthcare and immigration. The president still performed well with urban parents, large city voters, rural voters and college educated voters on these issues.
The split among voters on the surveyed issues reinforces that this is still a close race between two big time candidates and personalities. Which are the two bigger issues: immigration and healthcare or the economy and safety? Right now with the economy just starting to emerge out of the shadows of Covid-19, and certain cities experiencing violence, President Trump might have a slight advantage over Joe Biden, but that's not guaranteed. The former vice president will have to remind voters how Trump failed to handle the pandemic and that there is still work to be done on healthcare policy, which is an issue Democrats poll better on than Republicans. Easier said than done with the rise of Trump again in the polls.
Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
US Likely Voters
8/17/20 - 8/19/20
Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 901 likely voters in the US.
Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.
Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. The party breakdown for this survey is as follows: 36% Democrat, 34% Republican and 30% Independent/unaffiliated.
Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 901 is +/- 3.3 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.
Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.
Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.
About Zogby Analytics:
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The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.