Most voters have already made up their minds about November

David MontgomerySenior data journalist
February 21, 2024, 3:40 PM GMT+0

Nearly nine months before Election Day, 60% of registered U.S. voters say they've already decided who they're going to vote for. Another 25% say they have a strong commitment to their preferred presidential candidate and "probably won't change."

Among the already decided are 61% of registered voters whose preferred candidate is Joe Biden and 61% of those who prefer Donald Trump, in a hypothetical matchup between the two likely nominees. Voters are evenly split between the two men, and neither one's group of supporters is significantly less firm in their support.

This level of commitment has risen since YouGov asked the same question in December 2023, when 54% of registered voters said they had decided on their presidential vote. Since then, both Biden and Trump supporters have become more likely to say their vote is already decided

Biden and Trump also have similar shares of Americans who say they might possibly vote for them: exactly half. 43% of Americans say they would consider voting for Trump, similar to the 42% who say the same of Biden. Another 7% say they might consider voting for Biden, but haven't heard enough — and the same for Trump. For each candidate, that adds up to 50% of registered voters who might vote for him. That means 50% of Americans say they would not consider voting for Trump, while 50% say they would not consider voting for Biden.

Trump's last remaining rival for the 2024 Republican nomination, Nikki Haley, and third-party candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., each are not being considered by around 60% of Americans. Third-party candidates Jill Stein and Cornel West each aren't being considered by more than 75% of Americans.

Few registered voters — 6% — say they are considering both Trump and Biden. Compared to the rest of the electorate, this group of voters is disproportionately young — 58% are under 30, compared to 16% of all registered voters.

Another 7% of registered voters say they won't consider voting for either Biden or Trump. The remaining 87% say they'll consider one of the two candidates but not both.

Combining the recent YouGov polls about the firmness of Americans' voting intentions with the identical surveys in December produces a larger sample of 4,000 respondents. That enables a more granular look at the certainty of support for Biden and Trump supporters within various demographics.

The older the voter, the more likely they are to say they have committed to their preferred candidate. 67% of registered voters who are 65 or older say their support for their chosen candidate is "very strong," including 66% of Trump voters 65 or older and 71% of Biden voters 65 or older. In contrast, 60% of voters 45 to 64, 50% of voters 30 to 44, and 40% of voters under 30 say they've already decided.

Among voters with college degrees, Biden supporters are more likely to say their support is certain than Trump supporters (60% to 48%). But the situation is reversed among voters without college degrees, where 63% of Trump supporters and 57% of Biden supporters have already decided.

See the results for these YouGov polls on December 18 - 23, 2023, and January 31 - February 7, 2024

Methodology: The two polls each were conducted among 2,000 U.S. adult citizens — and each of those on two separate surveys, with each survey taken by 1,000 U.S. adult citizens. The more recent poll was conducted January 31 - February 4, 2024 and February 1 - 7, 2024. The earlier poll was conducted December 18 - 23, 2023 and December 19 - 22, 2023. For all polls, 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). For each poll, the margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.

Image: Getty

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