Republican voters want to hear about lowering inflation, not abortion or Trump

What do Republican primary voters want to hear the candidates talk about ahead of tonight’s presidential primary debate? It isn’t abortion. Passing a national abortion ban is far down on a list of topics and issues. Instead, inflation is top of mind, followed by stopping illegal immigration and the teaching of “woke” ideas in schools.


Though most Republican primary voters think abortion should be illegal in most cases, less than half approve of a national ban. More broadly, just a quarter of Republican primary voters think their party needs policies that will restrict abortion access further, and just as many think the Republican Party has already gone too far.



What they also don’t want to hear about is Donald Trump, the Republican front runner who won’t be attending tonight’s debate. Few Republican primary voters think it’s important to hear the candidates talk about how loyal they are to him, and even fewer — just 14% — think it’s important to hear about their criticisms of him — and this is true even among voters who are currently supporting candidates other than Donald Trump.


Most do want to hear about support for U.S. aid to Israel, a stance that is widely popular among the Republican base. Republican primary voters overwhelmingly want a nominee who supports U.S. aid to Israel in its fight against Hamas. This stands in marked contrast with support for Ukraine against Russia, an issue which divides the Republican base nearly in half.




This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,185 U.S. adult residents interviewed between October 31-November 3, 2023, including 556 likely Republican primary voters. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as past vote. The margin of error is ±2.7 points for the sample overall and ±5.5 points for likely Republican primary voters.


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