Who would handle each of 15 issues better if elected: Joe Biden or Donald Trump?

Jamie BallardData Journalist
March 04, 2024, 11:19 PM GMT+0

A February 2024 poll from YouGov asked Americans whether they believed former president Donald Trump or President Joe Biden would handle a variety of issues better as president if elected in 2024. Biden comes out ahead on health care, the environment, and education while Trump is regarded more highly on the economy, immigration, crime, and China.

The issues that the most Americans find to be important, according to another February 2024 YouGov poll, include health care (67% say this is a very important issue), inflation (65%), education (59%), crime (59%), guns (58%), and immigration (57%).

Americans think Biden would do a better job on health care and education if re-elected, but think Trump would handle inflation, crime, guns, and immigration better if he is elected in 2024.

Slightly more Americans say Biden would do a better job than Trump than say the reverse when it comes to handling the environment (40% vs. 31%), education (40% vs. 34%), health care (39% vs. 34%) and LGBTQ issues (38% vs. 27%). By a narrow margin, more also believe Biden would handle abortion better than Trump (37% vs. 33%).

The issues that more Americans think Trump would handle better than Biden than say the reverse are the economy (47% vs. 34%), immigration (45% vs. 31%), China (45% vs. 31%), inflation (44% vs. 33%), foreign policy (42% vs. 35%), guns (42% vs. 32%), crime (41% vs. 33%), taxes (41% vs. 33%), Ukraine (41% vs. 35%), and Israel (39% vs. 31%).

On each of the 15 issues polled about, between 5% and 10% of Americans say Biden and Trump would handle it about equally well. More say that neither would handle it better, including 16% for LGBTQ issues and 15% for Israel.

The vast majority of Democrats plan to vote for Biden, and the same for Republicans and Trump. Each group's opinions of the candidates' handling of issues is correspondingly partisan. .However, 15% of Republicans think Biden would do a better job handling LGBTQ issues, 10% say the same about China, and 10% about abortion.

Meanwhile, 10% of Democrats say Trump would do a better job than Biden handling China and 9% think he would be better on Ukraine, taxes, immigration, and LGBTQ issues.

Independents say Biden would be better than Trump at handling health care (35% vs. 29%), the environment (35% vs. 23%), and LGBTQ issues (31% vs. 19%). They think Trump would handle nearly all of the remaining issues better than Biden would, including the economy (47% vs. 26%), China (46% vs. 21%), immigration (45% vs. 21%), inflation (42% vs. 23%) and foreign policy (41% vs. 25%).

The presumed presidential candidates are close on education and abortion. On the topic of education, 30% think Biden would handle this better and 31% think Trump would. About one in five (18%) say neither. 29% think Biden would be better at handling abortion, 29% say Trump would, and 22% say neither.

— Taylor Orth and Carl Bialik contributed to this article


See the results for this YouGov poll

Methodology: The YouGov poll was conducted online on February 6 - 9, 2024 among 1,000 U.S. adult citizens. 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 4%.

Image: Getty (Chip Somodevilla)