The Biden-Trump debate is seen as important for their campaigns

Most adults say they are likely to follow coverage of the debate, but few are satisfied with either Biden or Trump as the nominees.

June 26, 2024

Most adults are planning to follow coverage of the presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump on June 27.  The public thinks the debate is at least a somewhat important factor in the presidential campaigns of both men. But few are satisfied with choosing between Trump or Biden in November. 

Fifty-seven percent of the public say they are extremely or very likely to tune into at least some of the debate or the follow-up commentary about it. Republicans (63%) and Democrats (60%) are more likely than independents (41%) to follow debate coverage in some way.  Just 37% of adults say they are highly likely to listen to or watch the debate live.

The debate is viewed as important for the success of both presidential campaigns. Roughly half of Democrats and Republicans say the debate is extremely or very important for the success of the candidate of their party’s presidential campaign.

Neither candidate is viewed favorably by the public. Most of the public say they have a very or somewhat unfavorable view of Biden and Trump. Both Republicans and Democrats are more likely to have a negative view the opposing party’s candidate than they are to have a positive view of their own. About 9 in 10 Republicans have an unfavorable view of Biden, while 7 in 10 have a favorable view of Trump.  Similarly, about 9 in 10 Democrats have a negative opinion of Trump and about 7 in 10 have a favorable view of Biden.

Fifty-four percent of the public are unable to offer an opinion – either positive or negative – about South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, a potential running mate of Trump.  And 69% say they don’t know enough to have an opinion another potential running mate, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. 

Along with unfavorable views of Trump and Biden, the public is not pleased about them as nominees for the 2024 presidential election.  Republicans are more satisfied with a re-nomination of Trump than Democrats are with Biden’s re-nomination.

Black adults are more likely than white or Hispanic adults to be satisfied with Biden as the Democratic Party nominee. Nearly half of Hispanic adults are dissatisfied with Biden as the nominee and a similar share are dissatisfied with Trump.

Biden’s overall job approval has remained fairly steady over the past two years, with about 4 in 10 approving of his job performance and 6 in 10 disapproving. 

The public’s view of how the president is dealing with the economy is just about the same.   Most adults continue to rate the economy negatively with 67% saying it is in poor condition and only 33% think is doing well. 

Most of the public (55%) disapproves of how Biden is handling abortion policy. And with recent executive action on immigration, approval of his handling of the issue is just about the same as it was in an AP-NORC poll in March, with 30% approving and 69% disapproving.

Fewer people approve of the president’s approach to the war between Israel and Hamas.  Twenty-six percent approve of how Biden is handling the war between Israel and the Palestinians and 73% disapprove. While most Democrats approve of how Biden is handling the economy, abortion, and immigration, 59% disapprove of his handling of the conflict.  In March, 54% of Democrats approved of his approach and 44% disapproved.

The nationwide poll was conducted June 20-24, 2024 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,088 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.0 percentage points.

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