CBS News poll analysis: Who's voting for Biden, and who's voting for Trump?


Heading into Super Tuesday, the latest CBS News poll continued to show Donald Trump with an edge over President Biden nationally.

So far, Mr. Biden’s support among some key Democratic groups is not at the levels of 2020. Trump has largely unified his core constituencies, but may face challenges related to his legal issues. 

The general election is still eight months away, but here’s a look at where things stand now with some crucial voting groups:

The Biden coalition

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Black and Hispanic voters: Many are skeptical that their finances would improve with four more years of Biden

A large majority of Black voters says they will vote for Mr. Biden this year. But his current support trails what he got in 2020. The president still has an edge with Hispanic voters now, but his margin over Trump is smaller than it was in 2020. 

Republicans have made some inroads with Hispanic voters in recent elections. So far, Mr. Biden has not convinced most Black and Hispanic voters that their financial situation will improve if he is elected to a second term.  

Fewer of these voters tell us they are definitely going to vote this year compared to White voters, who are more inclined to back Republicans. Lower expressed likelihood of voting among them is one reason Biden is trailing in the polls now.

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Women voters: Abortion issue could be a motivator, but those voting on the economy are backing Trump right now

Women have backed the Democratic candidate for president for decades, and Mr. Biden’s share of the women’s vote was higher in 2020 than Hillary Clinton’s was in 2016.

Mr. Biden leads Trump among women in our current polling, but it’s a smaller lead compared to 2020. (In a hypothetical match-up against Nikki Haley, Mr. Biden trails her among women.)

The issues of abortion and the state of democracy help boost Mr. Biden with women over Trump. Women who see these issues as major factors in their vote are backing him by more than two to one. 

Six in 10 women think overturning Roe v. Wade was bad for the country, and nearly nine in 10 favor IVF being legal. 

But women who say the economy is a major factor are backing Trump. 

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Young voters: Most are backing Biden, but have concerns about his approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict

Right now, the president is getting a similar share of voters under age 30 as he won in 2020.

But there is a sizable portion who are not especially pleased with his overall job performance as president and many would like the president to take a different approach to the Israel-Hamas war. This group more than any other age group wants Mr. Biden to encourage Israel to stop its military actions in Gaza. 

Voters ages 18 to 29 are also less likely than voters ages 30 and older to say they will definitely vote.

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The Trump coalition

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Evangelical voters: They continue to be some of Trump’s strongest supporters (like they often are for Republicans)

Trump is currently getting a similar share of the White evangelical vote as he did in 2020. 

This group feels the overturn of Roe v. Wade was a good thing for the country.

While most don’t give Trump outright credit for its overturn, they look back fondly on his presidency, and they overwhelmingly feel he has a vision for the country that they agree with. 

White non-college voters: A big majority remember the economy being better under Trump

This group has largely been voting Republican for many years, but has trended even more Republican since Trump ran for president in 2016. 

Seven in 10 of White voters without a college degree think the economy was better under Trump — and the economy is the top issue for them. 

They care about the border, too, and in 10 think the number of migrants trying to cross into the U.S. would go down with Trump’s policies. 

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Men and seniors

These groups have voted for the Republican candidate in recent presidential elections. Trump is currently getting their support. Mr. Biden will look to make some inroads here to keep the margins relatively close.

Some swing-y groups

White voters with college degrees have been trending more toward Democrats in recent elections. Mr. Biden narrowly won this group in 2020 and he does have an edge in CBS News polling with this group now. 

The suburbs are key to who wins national elections. Our latest CBS News national poll shows Trump with an advantage over voters who tell us they live in suburbs. The 2020 national exit polls had Mr. Biden narrowly ahead of Trump in places designated as suburbs. Mr. Biden does currently have an edge with suburban women. 

When they look back, more suburban voters remember the economy more fondly during the Trump years than they rate it now.

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Independents:  What will they do?

Trump leads independents in our current polling. More of them look back on Trump’s presidency with better retrospective ratings than they rate Mr. Biden’s presidency so far.

But on balance, more of them think Trump would not be fit to serve as president if he were convicted of a crime than think he would be fit

Independents are not greeting a potential match-up between the 2020 candidate with much enthusiasm. More of them call it “negative” or “depressing” than either Democrats or Republicans do.

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Trump leads Biden now, but could his legal issues change things?

Most of Trump’s current backers say the former president would be fit to serve even if he were convicted of any of the crimes he is being charged with. 

Few say he would not be fit, but there is a sizable number — about three in 10 — who say it depends on the charge.

These voters tend to say they are mainly supporting Trump to oppose Mr. Biden, not because they like Trump — so these voters are somewhat less firm in their support for the former president.

This analysis is based on a CBS News/YouGov survey conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,159 U.S. adult residents interviewed between Feb. 28 and March 1, 2024. The 2020 exit poll data is based on the CBS News national exit poll conducted by Edison Research.



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