Divided America Weighs Trust in Biden and Trump Ahead of Election

Biden and Trump
(Getty Images)

With the general election on the horizon, a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll reveals a divided American sentiment regarding the leadership capabilities of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. Conducted through Ipsos’ Knowledge Panel, the poll shows 36% of Americans trust Trump with presidential duties, whereas 33% lean towards Biden. Interestingly, 30% of the surveyed population expresses distrust in both candidates.

This division is starkly evident along party lines, with 82% of Republicans favoring Trump and 72% of Democrats showing allegiance to Biden. Among independents, the split is nearly even, with 32% siding with Biden, 31% with Trump, and a significant 37% distrusting both.

When it comes to favorability, both Biden and Trump face similar challenges, with Biden being favored by 33% of Americans and Trump slightly lower at 29%. The data also highlights a substantial group, 21% of respondents, who view both candidates unfavorably, hinting at their potentially pivotal role in the upcoming 2024 election. This “double hater” group predominantly distrusts both candidates (72%), with only a fraction showing trust in Trump (19%) or Biden (9%).

The poll also sheds light on public reaction to Biden’s third State of the Union address, with 29% finding it better than expected and 12% feeling disappointed. However, 35% did not watch the speech at all. Among viewers, 44% viewed it more positively than anticipated, against 18% who were let down.

In terms of handling key issues, Americans seem to favor Trump over Biden on matters like the economy, inflation, crime, and immigration. Biden, however, scores better on climate change and abortion. Even among those who unfavorably view both, Biden’s approach to abortion finds some approval (36%), but his handling of the economy, inflation, crime, and immigration garners much lower approval, ranging between 7% to 16%.

Approval for Biden’s management of the Israel-Hamas conflict has seen a decline, from 41% in October to 30% in this recent poll. Conversely, Biden’s approval ratings on abortion have seen an uptick, from 39% to 47%.

As the election nears, it’s clear that voter sentiment on crucial issues like the economy, inflation, immigration, and abortion will play a significant role in shaping electoral decisions. The challenge for both Biden and Trump lies in swaying the undecided or disillusioned electorate while retaining their core supporters, setting the stage for a fiercely contested race to the presidency.

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