US voters prefer Trump on economy, Biden on democracy, Reuters/Ipsos poll finds

By Jason Lange

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. voters see Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as the better candidate for the economy but prefer his Democratic rival President Joe Biden’s approach on preserving democracy, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

The three-day poll that concluded on Sunday showed that less than five months before the Nov. 5 election, the electorate is divided on the candidates’ approach on the issues that respondents view as the top two problems facing the nation.

Biden’s approval rating, measured across all respondents in the poll, rose marginally to 37% from 36% in May when it tied the lowest reading of his presidency. Many Democrats worry Biden could be stung by voter concerns over his age – at 81 he’s the oldest U.S. president to hold the office – and disapproval within his party of his support of Israel’s war against Hamas.

When asked which of the two candidates had a better approach for the economy – the No. 1 concern for respondents – registered voters picked Trump 43% to 37%. Voters have been stung by several years of fast-rising consumer prices, though inflation has slowed considerably in recent months and the jobless rate has been below 4% for more than two years. 

The Republican had a more significant edge – 44% to 31% – on immigration. Immigrants made up 13.9% of the country in 2022, the highest share in over a century. Trump has taken aim at immigrants in the country illegally. Trump was favored 40% to 35% on foreign conflicts and terrorism.

But Biden had the edge over Trump on responding to political extremism and threats to democracy, respondents’ No. 2 concern, with registered voters picking the Democrat over Trump by 39% to 33%.

Trump, who was convicted last month on criminal charges he falsified business records, is awaiting three more criminal trials, two of which are tied to his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden. Trump, who falsely claims his 2020 election defeat resulted from fraud, included the claim in a fiery speech shortly before hundreds of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Biden also had an edge over Trump on healthcare policy – 40% to 29%. Biden was vice president in 2010 when then-President Barack Obama pushed a landmark health reform through Congress that dramatically increased access to health insurance.

Previous Reuters/Ipsos polls have shown Biden and Trump neck-and-neck in the presidential race, though a number of polls in battleground states have shown Trump ahead in recent months. 

The Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted nationwide and online, collected responses from 1,019 U.S. adults, including 856 registered voters. It had a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points for all respondents and 3.5 percentage points for registered voters.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Scott Malone and Deepa Babington)