Biden takes 5-point lead as hypothetical 2024 election contest against Trump remains close

David MontgomerySenior data journalist
September 28, 2023, 5:50 PM GMT+0

A hypothetical general election contest between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump remains close, more than one year before the November 2024 election.

A recent Economist/YouGov poll found 45% of registered voters would pick Biden if a Biden-Trump election were held today, compared to 40% for Trump. That's Biden's best performance in any Economist/YouGov poll this year, but each man's support in the latest poll remains within the normal range. The two have traded leads in Economist/YouGov polls throughout the year, with neither presumed major-party candidate ever polling below 39% support or above 46%. Variability like this is expected in a close race given normal sampling error, and was seen throughout the 2020 election.

Overall, 14% of registered voters support neither Trump nor Biden, including 3% who say they wouldn't vote at all, 4% who are unsure who to support, and 7% who say they'd vote for a third-party candidate.

Among the largest uncommitted groups are political Independents, who are twice as likely as Democrats or Republicans to say they're unsure, wouldn't vote, or would vote third-party. Even among Independents, though, more than three-quarters of registered voters pick either Biden or Trump.

Younger registered voters also are more likely to be undecided. Though younger Democrats strongly back Biden and younger Republicans strongly back Trump, registered voters under 45 in both parties are at least twice as likely as older registered voters to say they'd back neither man.

Among Independents, registered voters under 45 are more likely than older registered voters to back Biden or neither man in a hypothetical matchup. Older Independents lean toward Trump, though 20% of them remain undecided.

See the toplines and crosstabs from the Economist/YouGov poll conducted on September 23 - 26, 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 November 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.

Image: Getty