Monmouth Poll: Voters Not Sold on Biden or Trump

Biden and Trump

There has been very little movement in a presidential election that continues to show nearly equal levels of potential support for President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. The Monmouth University Poll finds about 1 in 6 voters hold unfavorable views of both presumptive nominees. Most of this group remains up for grabs in the general election as few have a strong inclination to vote for independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.  In other poll results, most Republicans say immigration and inflation are their top presidential election issues while abortion is the most determinative voting issue for Democrats. The Israel-Gaza war and climate change are much less important for voters in either party.

In a Biden-Trump rematch, just over 4 in 10 registered voters say they will either definitely (32%) or probably (11%) vote for the Democratic incumbent and, in a separate question, a nearly identical number will definitely (30%) or probably (14%) support the former Republican president. About half say they will definitely not vote for Biden (49%) and a similar number – although not the same voters – say they have definitely ruled out Trump (48%). These results have not moved much since last fall.

“Enthusiasm for a 2020 rematch has increased slightly now that these two candidates are the presumptive nominees. But most voters are not looking forward to November,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

About 4 in 10 (39%) voters are at least somewhat enthusiastic about a replay of the 2020 contest. This up from just over 1 in 4 (27%) in December, but a majority (60%) express little or no enthusiasm about seeing these candidates on the same presidential ballot again. Enthusiasm has ticked up among all partisan groups from late last year, but Republicans (63%) continue to be much more eager than either Democrats (36%) or independents (27%) to see a presidential election rerun.

One group that is almost universally unhappy with a Biden-Trump rematch are voters who have an unfavorable opinion of both candidates. Overall, nearly 6 in 10 voters have an unfavorable opinion of either Biden (58%) or Trump (57%). Combined, 2% of the electorate has a favorable opinion of both candidates, 41% has a favorable opinion of Trump only and 39% has a favorable opinion of Biden only. This leaves 17% who have an unfavorable opinion of both candidates. There are not a lot of demographic differences that distinguish these so-called “double haters,” but they do tend to be younger. Specifically, 27% of voters under 35 years old fall into the double hater group, compared with just 16% of those 35 to 54 years old and 10% of those age 55 and older. Among the double hater voters, 78% say they are not at all enthusiastic about having Biden and Trump at the top of the two major party tickets again. Looking ahead to November, 26% say they are definite or probable Biden voters and 19% are definite or probable Trump supporters. The majority (55%), though, say they are unlikely to vote for either candidate.

One option for disenchanted voters is Kennedy as the independent candidate, assuming he gets on the ballot in each state. Currently, 35% of American voters have a favorable opinion of Kennedy and 40% hold an unfavorable view. Positive opinion of Kennedy has increased 11 percentage points since December (from 24% favorable) while his negative numbers have ticked up 6 points (from 34%). His favorable ratings have gone up by double-digits among independents (from 26% to 42%) and Republicans (from 34% to 45%), but are up only slightly among Democrats (from 12% to 17%). Among voters who have unfavorable opinions of both Biden and Trump, 35% have a positive view of Kennedy and 28% have a negative one.

Fewer than 1 in 5 American voters say they will definitely (5%) or probably (13%) vote for Kennedy in November. This 18% potential support level is down slightly from 21% in December. Among voters who are Biden-Trump double haters, Kennedy’s potential support stands at just under 4 in 10 (15% definite and 23% probable), compared with 13% potential support (3% definite and 10% probable) among voters who have a favorable opinion of either major party nominee.

Just over half (55%) of all voters are aware of Kennedy’s support for claims that autism is linked to vaccines and his belief that Covid is targeted to attack certain races. Knowing this information does not change his potential support levels (5% definite and 14% probable after hearing these statements in the poll). However, Biden-Trump double haters are less likely than other voters to have previous knowledge of Kennedy’s positions on these issues (40% aware) and more likely to soften their support after hearing about them (dropping to 26% from an initial potential vote level of 38%).

“Support for Kennedy is not particularly strong even among voters who dislike both Biden and Trump. If he can’t score a decisive win with these voters, it’s unclear what role he can play in this election other than as a spoiler,” said Murray. He added, “The poll results suggest that the Kennedy effect is minimal. If the current situation holds, he would play a spoiler role only in a very close contest. Of course, everything is lining up for this election to be just that.”

If voters who say they are definite Kennedy voters but also indicate potential support for one of the two major party candidates are actually allocated to Kennedy, both Biden and Trump lose only one percentage point off their current support levels. If probable Kennedy voters are added to that mix, the two presumptive nominees each lose 6 points, putting Biden at 37% and Trump at 38%.

The poll also asked voters about the importance of six different issue areas in their ultimate presidential vote choice. Of these, inflation (38%) and economic growth and jobs (37%) are the most likely to be seen as determining how voters will decide. They are followed by immigration (33%) and abortion (33%), with the Israel-Gaza war (18%) and climate change (15%) being less determinative issues. A majority of Republicans identify immigration (56%) and inflation (53%) as issues that will determine their vote, while abortion (44%) emerges as the top vote choice issue for Democrats. Republicans (41%) and independents (39%) are somewhat more likely than Democrats (29%) to name economic growth and jobs as an issue that will determine their presidential vote. Independents are also more likely than Democrats to say the same about inflation (41% versus 20%, respectively) and immigration (34% versus 12%, respectively). More Republicans (24%) than Democrats (11%) cite the Israel-Gaza war as determinative and more Democrats (23%) than Republicans (5%) say the same about climate change – although neither of these are as important as other issues included in the poll. Among the double hater voters who have an unfavorable view of both major party candidates, inflation (39%) is most frequently mentioned as the issue that will determine their vote choice. The other five issues included in the poll are named as decisive issues by between about 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 of these “double hater” voters.

“When partisan voters name their top issues in this election, it is not about weighing the candidates’ positions. It’s more about which issues are motivating them to get out to vote. You have to focus on the small group of voters who are up for grabs to see which issue may actually sway voters. In this case, it appears to be inflation,” said Murray.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from April 18 to 22, 2024 with 808 adults in the United States. The question results in this release are based on 746 registered voters and have a margin of error +/- 4.3 percentage points. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

 

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS     

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

 

[Q1-16 previously released.]

 

[QUESTIONS 17 & 18 WERE ROTATED]

 

  1. Is your general impression of Donald Trump very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable?
  Trend:

Registered voters

April
2024
Sept
2023
July
2023
Aug.
2022
Very favorable 23% 19% 15% 22%
Somewhat favorable 20% 19% 21% 20%
Somewhat unfavorable 9% 12% 13% 9%
Very unfavorable 48% 50% 50% 40%
(VOL) No opinion * 0% 1% 1% 9%
(n) (746) (737) (840) (751)

 

    Trend:

Registered voters

Nov.
2020
Late
Sept.
2020
Early
Sept.
2020
Aug.
2020
Late
June
2020
Early
June
2020
May
2020
April
2020
March
2020
Feb.
2020
Jan.
2020
Dec.2019 Nov.
2019
Sept.
2019
Very favorable 25% 27% 26% 23% 22% 26% 24% 24% 29% 35% 35% 33% 34% 30%
Somewhat favorable 16% 15% 14% 17% 16% 12% 16% 18% 17% 9% 8% 13% 10% 13%
Somewhat unfavorable 7% 7% 7% 8% 9% 9% 9% 7% 7% 6% 4% 5% 4% 6%
Very unfavorable 42% 44% 46% 46% 46% 48% 44% 43% 42% 47% 51% 47% 50% 50%
No opinion * 10% 7% 6% 7% 7% 5% 7% 7% 5% 3% 2% 2% 2% 3%
(n) (749) (809) (758) (785) (733) (742) (739) (743) (754) (827) (847) (838) (835) (1,017)

            *Polls prior to 2023 included an explicit “no opinion” option in the question.

 

  1. Is your general impression of Joe Biden very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable?
  Trend:

Registered voters

April
2024
Sept
2023
July
2023
Very favorable 21% 18% 18%
Somewhat favorable 20% 23% 25%
Somewhat unfavorable 10% 14% 13%
Very unfavorable 48% 45% 44%
(VOL) No opinion * 1% 1% 0%
(n) (746) (737) (840)

 

    Trend:

Registered voters

Nov.
2020
Late
Sept.
2020
Early
Sept.
2020
 

Aug.
2020

Late
June
2020
Early
June
2020
May
2020
April
2020
March
2020
Feb.
2020
Jan.
2020
Dec.2019 Nov.
2019
Sept.
2019
Very favorable 22% 25% 26% 17% 16% 15% 15% 15% 18% 16% 19% 18% 18% 20%
Somewhat favorable 22% 22% 21% 25% 28% 27% 26% 26% 25% 24% 23% 25% 25% 26%
Somewhat unfavorable 15% 10% 9% 14% 13% 18% 16% 17% 17% 17% 16% 16% 17% 18%
Very unfavorable 31% 36% 35% 33% 31% 31% 28% 25% 26% 36% 33% 34% 33% 27%
No opinion * 11% 7% 9% 12% 12% 9% 16% 17% 13% 8% 8% 7% 7% 9%
(n) (749) (809) (758) (785) (733) (742) (739) (743) (754) (827) (847) (838) (835) (1,017)

            *Polls prior to 2023 included an explicit “no opinion” option in the question.

 

[QUESTIONS 19 & 20 WERE ROTATED]

 

  1. How likely are you to vote for Donald Trump in the election for president – will you definitely vote for him, probably vote for him, probably not vote for him, or definitely not vote for him?
  Trend:

Registered voters

April.
2024
Feb.
2024
Dec.
2023
Sept.
2023
July
2023
May
2023
Definitely 30% 30% 29% 31% 26% 29%
Probably 14% 16% 13% 12% 14% 12%
Probably not 6% 6% 8% 8% 8% 8%
Definitely not 48% 47% 48% 48% 50% 46%
(VOL) Don’t know 2% 1% 2% 1% 1% 4%
(n) (746) (822) (743) (737) (840) (907)

 

  1. How likely are you to vote for Joe Biden in the election for president – will you definitely vote for him, probably vote for him, probably not vote for him, or definitely not vote for him?
  Trend:

Registered voters

April.
2024
Feb.
2024
Dec.
2023
Sept.
2023
July
2023
May
2023
Definitely 32% 30% 31% 31% 36% 32%
Probably 11% 14% 11% 11% 11% 13%
Probably not 6% 7% 7% 6% 6% 7%
Definitely not 49% 48% 49% 51% 46% 45%
(VOL) Don’t know 2% 1% 1% 1% 1% 3%
(n) (746) (822) (743) (737) (840) (907)

 

  1. How do you feel about the upcoming rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump – are you very enthusiastic, somewhat enthusiastic, not too enthusiastic, or not at all enthusiastic?
Trend: Registered voters April
2024
Dec.
2023
Very enthusiastic 20% 14%
Somewhat enthusiastic 19% 13%
Not too enthusiastic 22% 20%
Not at all enthusiastic 38% 49%
(VOL) Don’t know 1% 3%
(n) (746) (743)

 

  1. Have you heard of lawyer and activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., or have you not heard of him? [If HEARD: Is your general impression of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?]
Trend: Registered voters April 2024 Dec.
2023
Very favorable 8% Favorable 24%
Somewhat favorable 27%
Somewhat unfavorable 14% Unfavorable 34%
Very unfavorable 26%
No opinion 18% No opinion 30%
Not heard of 8% Not heard of 13%
(n) (746) (n) (743)

 

  1. In an election for president where the major party nominees are Joe Biden and Donald Trump, how likely are you to vote for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. as an independent candidate – will you definitely vote for him, probably vote for him, probably not vote for him, or definitely not vote for him?
Trend: Registered voters April
2024
Dec.
2023
Definitely 5% 6%
Probably 13% 15%
Probably not 24% 26%
Definitely not 56% 48%
(VOL) Don’t know 3% 6%
(n) (746) (743)

 

  1. Kennedy supports claims that autism is linked to vaccines and has said that Covid is targeted to attack people of certain races. Were you aware that he held these views, or were you not aware before now?
Trend: Registered voters April
2024
Dec.
2023
Aware 55% 50%
Not aware before now 45% 48%
(VOL) Don’t know 0% 2%
(n) (746) (743)

 

  1. Knowing this about Kennedy’s views on public health issues, how likely are you to vote for him as an independent candidate for president – will you definitely vote for him, probably vote for him, probably not vote for him, or definitely not vote for him?
Trend: Registered voters April
2024
Dec.
2023
Definitely 5% 5%
Probably 14% 17%
Probably not 25% 26%
Definitely not 54% 50%
(VOL) Don’t know 2% 2%
(n) (746) (743)

 

  1. I’m going to read a list of issues. Please rate the importance of each one using the following scale:  this issue will determine how I vote for president, this issue will play a significant role in how I vote for president but may not be as important as some others, this issue will play only a minor role in how I vote for president, or this issue is not at all important in my vote for president? First, [READ ITEM]… [ITEMS WERE ROTATED]
     Registered voters Determine

vote

Significant

role

Minor

role

Not at all

important

(VOL) Don’t know (n)
The Israel-Gaza war 18% 34% 33% 13% 2% (746)
Abortion 33% 29% 19% 18% 2% (746)
Economic growth and jobs 37% 43% 14% 4% 2% (746)
Inflation and the price of goods and services 38% 39% 16% 6% 2% (746)
Immigration 33% 39% 20% 6% 2% (746)
Climate change 15% 29% 22% 32% 2% (746)

 

  1. Did you vote in the 2020 presidential election, or did you not vote for whatever reason? [If YES:] Who did you vote for – Donald Trump, Joe Biden, or another candidate? [NAMES WERE ROTATED]
  Trend:

Registered voters

April
2024
Feb.
2024
Dec.
2023
Donald Trump 40% 41% 40%
Joe Biden 45% 46% 45%
Another candidate 4% 4% 4%
Voted, refused to name candidate 1% 2% 2%
Did not vote 10% 7% 9%
(n) (746) (822) (743)

 

[Q28-37 held for future release.]

 

METHODOLOGY

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from April 18 to 22, 2024 with a probability-based national random sample of 808 adults age 18 and older. Interviews were conducted in English, and included 163 live landline telephone interviews, 349 live cell phone interviews, and 296 online surveys via a cell phone text invitation. Telephone numbers were selected through a mix of random digit dialing and list-based sampling. Landline respondents were selected with a modified Troldahl-Carter youngest adult household screen. Interviewing services were provided by Braun Research, with sample obtained from Dynata (RDD, n= 484), Aristotle (list, n= 168) and a panel of prior Monmouth poll participants (n= 156). Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The full sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information (ACS 2021 one-year survey). The results in this poll release are based on a subsample of 746 registered voters. For results based on the sample of registered voters, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points adjusted for sample design effects (1.41). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

 

Demographics (weighted)

Party (self-reported): 26% Republican, 42% Independent, 32% Democrat

Sex: 49% male, 51% female, 1% other

Age: 27% 18-34, 33% 35-54, 39% 55+

Race: 64% White, 12% Black, 15% Hispanic, 9% Asian/other

Education: 36% high school or less, 30% some college, 18% 4 year degree, 16% graduate degree

 

MARGIN OF ERROR
unweighted  sample moe
(+/-)
REGISTERED VOTERS   746 4.3%
SELF-REPORTED PARTY ID Republican 179 8.7%
Independent 305 6.7%
Democrat 258 7.2%
IDEOLOGY Liberal 198 8.3%
Moderate 283 6.9%
Conservative 253 7.3%
GENDER Male 366 6.1%
Female 375 6.0%
AGE 18-34 174 8.8%
35-54 270 7.1%
55+ 300 6.7%
CHILDREN IN HOME Yes 187 8.5%
No 558 4.9%
RACE White, non-Hispanic 518 5.1%
Other 220 7.8%
COLLEGE GRADUATE No degree 316 6.5%
4 year degree 430 5.6%
WHITE COLLEGE White, no degree 213 8.0%
White, 4 year degree 305 6.7%
INCOME <$50K 156 9.3%
$50 to <$100K 201 8.2%
$100K+ 356 6.2%

 

Crosstabs may be found in the PDF file on the report webpage:  https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/reports/monmouthpoll_US_042924/

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One response to “Monmouth Poll: Voters Not Sold on Biden or Trump”

  1. Monmouth University Poll is a far left-wing, non-credible outlier. Many of the large, mainstream polls like CNN and NBC are showing Trump leading Biden by over 10 points nationwide. And, these are large left-wing polls. The Monmouth U. Poll has been a biased, Democrat poll for a long time that lost credibility a long time ago.

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