Welcome to Pollapalooza, our weekly polling roundup.
By all appearances, former President Donald Trump is planning to run for president again in 2024. He is traveling the country holding rallies, staying involved in internal GOP politics and raising vast amounts of money. Reportedly, he was even on the verge of announcing his candidacy this past summer, but advisers talked him out of it to avoid subjecting him to restrictions on fundraising and TV appearances.
But if Trump does run, one thing is clear: The Republican nomination would likely be his for the taking. He remains extremely popular among Republicans.
A Quinnipiac University poll conducted Oct. 15-18 found Trump has an 86 percent favorable rating and just a 10 percent unfavorable rating among Republican adults. And he already dominates early polls of the 2024 Republican primary. A Morning Consult/Politico survey from Oct. 8-11 found that 47 percent of Republican voters would vote for Trump; no other candidate was above 13 percent. And while you should certainly take such an early primary poll with a grain of salt, if Trump is still polling that high come 2023, it actually bodes pretty well for his chances of becoming the nominee. Plus, given Trump’s strong influence within the GOP, few other Republican politicians would likely dare to run against him anyway.
A sizable majority of Republicans also actively want Trump to run again. By a 67 percent to 29 percent margin, Republican registered voters told Morning Consult/Politico that Trump should run again, including 51 percent who said he should “definitely” run. A HarrisX/The Hill poll from Oct. 13-14 similarly found that Republican registered voters supported a third consecutive Trump candidacy 77 percent to 23 percent, including 52 percent who “strongly” supported it. And Quinnipiac found that 78 percent of Republicans would like to see Trump run again, and only 16 percent would not.
What’s more, as more time passes since the end of his presidency, Republicans may be increasingly eager for Trump’s return. Back in May, Quinnipiac found Republicans in favor of a Trump presidential run 66 percent to 30 percent — now it’s 78 percent to 16 percent. And while Morning Consult/Politico does not appear to have asked the question before, they have previously asked whether Trump should “play a major role,” “play a minor role” or “no longer play a role” in the Republican Party. Morning Consult hasn’t found as much support for Trump as Quinnipiac, but in their most recent poll, 63 percent of Republican registered voters said a major role, 19 percent said a minor role and 13 percent said no role. That’s slightly up from 59 percent who wanted him to play a major role in February (when 18 percent said minor role and 17 percent said no role). However, not every pollster agrees that Republicans’ appetite for more Trump has increased: HarrisX/The Hill found virtually no change from their Nov. 17-19, 2020, survey.
Despite Republicans’ enthusiasm for a Trump comeback, however, the American electorate as a whole is much cooler on the notion. The latest HarrisX/The Hill poll found that registered voters overall opposed Trump running again, 53 percent to 47 percent. Independents were against the idea 58 percent to 42 percent. The margin was even wider according to Morning Consult/Politico (59 percent to 35 percent, with independents opposed 58 percent to 30 percent) and Quinnipiac (58 percent to 35 percent among both independents and adults overall). Quinnipiac also offered some more inauspicious numbers for the ex-president, such as his 39 percent to 52 percent overall favorable/unfavorable ratings and the fact that Americans felt, 51 percent to 41 percent, that he has had a mainly negative impact on American politics.
But these underwater numbers don’t mean Trump would be guaranteed to lose the 2024 general election. While it’s definitely too early to hang your hat on any 2024 general-election polls, a Selzer & Co./Grinnell College poll conducted Oct. 13-17 found that 40 percent of likely 2024 voters would vote for President Biden, and 40 percent of likely 2024 voters would vote for Trump. There’s plenty of time for those numbers to change, of course, but even against an unpopular Trump, no one should assume Biden, should he run again, will win reelection in a landslide.
Other polling bites
- The Biden administration announced Wednesday a plan to vaccinate children age 5 to 11, as the Food and Drug Administration reviews Pfizer and BioNTech’s request for authorization of their COVID-19 vaccine in kids under 12. If the vaccine is authorized, roughly 28 million more children would be eligible. This plan may come as a relief for some parents with kids under 18. Per a recent Morning Consult poll, 45 percent of parents said they would get their children vaccinated as soon as they’re eligible.
- Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been criticized for taking paternity leave following the birth of his twins in August, sparking a debate over whether new fathers should be able to take time off work. But public polls suggest more American fathers are taking responsibility for child care. A Pew Research Center survey found that in 2016, fathers said they spent an average of 8 hours a week on childcare, up 5.5 hours from 1965. Some fathers might also welcome the opportunity to take paternity leave, as most fathers with children under 18, 63 percent, told Pew they thought they spent too little time with their kids. Moreover, 62 percent of those fathers said work was the reason they didn’t spend enough time with their children.
- The most ambitious part of Biden’s climate plan, a program to replace coal- and gas-fired plants with renewable energy sources, will likely be cut due to Sen. Joe Manchin’s opposition. This move might upset some voters, though. A Vox/Data for Progress poll found that 63 percent of likely voters support incentives for companies who meet clean-energy performance goals and penalties for those who don’t comply.
- Overall, Americans are split on the extent to which the United States should prioritize the environmental or economic impact of its infrastructure investment. An Ipsos poll found that 37 percent of Americans said they preferred prioritizing the environment while 34 percent preferred the economy. One thing is clear, though: Satisfaction with U.S. infrastructure is at a five-year low, per Ipsos. Sixty-one percent of Americans agree that “as a country, we are not doing enough to meet our infrastructure needs.”
- For most Black Americans, opposing racism is an essential part of being faithful or moral, according to a recent Pew poll. This was especially true among the 67 percent of respondents who said being Black is a very important part of their identity, including Black Americans from different religious backgrounds. Of those who thought being Black was a very important part of their identity, 78 percent said opposing racism was important in their faith and morals. Only 70 percent of those who said that being Black was less important to their identity said the same.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s presidential approval tracker,1 43.7 percent of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing as president, while 50.0 percent disapprove (a net approval rating of -6.4 points). At this time last week, 44.7 percent approved and 49.7 percent disapproved (a net approval rating of -5.0 points). One month ago, Biden had an approval rating of 46.5 percent and a disapproval rating of 48.9 percent, for a net approval rating of -2.4 points.
In our average of polls of the generic congressional ballot,2 Democrats currently lead by 2.6 percentage points (44.1 percent to 41.6 percent). A week ago, Democrats led Republicans by 2.9 points (44.4 percent to 41.5 percent). At this time last month, voters preferred Democrats by 2.6 points (43.8 percent to 41.2 percent).