New National Poll unveils intriguing dynamics of 2024 Presidential Race

April 30, 2024
Mainstreet Research
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April 30, 2024

As the 2024 presidential race heats up, a survey conducted by FAU’s PolCom Lab and Mainstreet Research offers a glimpse into the shifting tides of American politics.

Gender, Age and Race Continue to Influence Voting Patterns

In a striking illustration of the gender gap, likely women voters express a preference for U.S. President Joe Biden (48%), while men exhibit a tilt toward former U.S. President Donald Trump (47%).

“The divergence in attitudes underscores the complex interplay of gender dynamics in shaping electoral outcomes,” said Dukhong Kim, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at FAU.

Among all voters, the poll found the two candidates tied at 44% each. However, Biden demonstrates stronger support from older middle-age groups (50-64: 51%) compared to younger middle-age groups (35-39: 32%), and from Black voters (67%) in contrast to non-college-educated white voters (33%). Conversely, Trump garners more support from younger middle-aged groups (50%) compared to younger cohorts (18-34: 32%), and non-college-educated white voters (56%) compared to Black (19%) or Latino voters (37%).

Regarding party allegiance, Biden and Trump both command similar levels of support: Biden (79%) and Trump (81%). However, Independents lean more toward Trump (44%) than Biden (37%).

Age and Personality Matter: Biden’s Age vs. Trump’s Persona

As voters weigh their options, age and personality factors emerge as pivotal considerations. Although concerns over Biden’s age loom large among some former supporters, critiques of Trump’s language and leadership style drive others away.

“For those rejecting Trump, personality factors like his language and leadership style loom large, along with legal issues stemming from the Stormy Daniels case. Presidential character remains a major fault line,” said Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., co-director of FAU’s PolCom Lab and professor of political science.

Third-Party Intrigue: Biden’s Surprising Boost with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in the Mix

A surprising twist unfolds with the inclusion of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as a candidate. Contrary to expectations, Biden’s support strengthens with Kennedy in the race, hinting at intriguing dynamics within the electorate.

Respondents were asked, “If the election for president were held today and the candidates were Joe Biden, Donald Trump, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., which candidate would you support?” Respondents answered with 40% for Biden and 38% for Trump, while 13% selected Kennedy, 6% were undecided, and 3% preferred another candidate.

“Interestingly, Biden actually performs better when Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is included as a candidate, likely because Kennedy pulls more support from Trump’s base than Biden’s,” said Luzmarina Garcia, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science at FAU.

New York Criminal Trial Has Little Impact on Trump Support

Respondents were asked about Trump’s trial in a New York criminal case regarding accusations of falsifying business records related to a nondisclosure agreement concerning an extramarital affair. When asked about the potential impact of Trump being found guilty on their vote in the presidential election, 64% of respondents indicated it would not sway their decision, while 26% said it would. Additionally, 10% were uncertain. Among registered Republicans, 12.3% acknowledged that a guilty verdict would influence their vote, with 75.7% asserting it would not.

“Trump’s New York criminal case over alleged hush money payments appears poised to have a small impact. However, since the margins in many of the battleground states are expected to be only a few points, those voters could be the difference,” said Kim.

The trial’s strongest impact was among younger and non-white voters. Approximately 42% of those aged 18 to 34 said a guilty verdict would influence their vote, while roughly one-third of Black, Hispanic, and other racial and ethnic voters expressed similar sentiments.

Enthusiasm Edge: Democrats Gain Ground in Down-Ballot Races

Amidst the electoral fray, Democrats secure a modest uptick in support among likely voters on the congressional generic ballot (43% vs. 40%). This uptick hints at a potential enthusiasm advantage for Democratic candidates, setting the stage for a fiercely contested battle in down-ballot races nationwide.

The poll was conducted from Friday, April 26 to Sunday, April 28, among a sample of 1,046 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in the U.S. The survey was conducted using text message recruitment and IVR to complete the survey. Since the text messages were sent to random registered voters, the poll can be assigned a margin of error. The survey is intended to represent the voting population in the U.S. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 3 % at the 95 % confidence level. Margins of error are higher in each subsample.

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