More Republicans than Democrats support Biden demanding TikTok's Chinese owners sell their stakes

Taylor OrthDirector of Survey Data Journalism
March 30, 2023, 10:27 PM GMT+0

New polling from the Economist and YouGov finds that by 51% to 23%, Americans approve of the Biden administration's demand that the Chinese owners of TikTok sell their stakes in the app or else the United States will ban it. Notably, more Republicans (60%) than Democrats (48%) approve of this action — a rare instance of a greater share of the President's opposing party than his own approving of one of his actions. In recent Economist/YouGov polls, Republicans have been more likely than Democrats to view China as an enemy of the U.S., which might explain their greater likelihood of approving of the president's demand of a sale by Chinese owners.

TikTok users are divided. Many don't see a problem with the company: 69% have a very or somewhat favorable opinion of TikTok and just 24% have a very or somewhat unfavorable opinion. This marks a slight decline in favorability since last week. Americans overall are far more likely to have an unfavorable (53%) than favorable (31%) view of TikTok. TikTok users aren't representative of Americans overall: The share of Americans who use TikTok decreases with age, and its users are also more likely to identify as Democrats than as Republicans.

Do Americans think TikTok poses a threat to U.S. national security? While Americans are more likely to say it does than to say it doesn't (42% vs. 31%), just 22% of TikTok users say it poses a threat. A majority of users continue to say it is not a threat, though the share has dropped by 6 percentage points in a week (to 52% from 58%).

—Carl Bialik contributed to this article

See the toplines and crosstabs from the Economist/YouGov poll conducted on March 26 - 28, 2023 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens.

Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to June 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (34% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.

Image: Adobe Stock (nikkimeel)