During the 2016 presidential election, voters that had unfavorable opinions of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, broke for Trump by 17 points. The latest Economist/YouGov Poll suggests that advantage might not exist this year.
Fourteen percent of registered voters say they have unfavorable opinions of both Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee. Half that figure (7%) have favorable opinions of both. Many of those who dislike both men won’t vote or say they will vote for someone else. But, in a trial heat, those who choose between the two major party candidates favor Biden two to one, creating an 18-point edge for Biden.
In this week’s poll, Biden holds a three-point lead over the president among registered voters. He has consistently led in Economist/YouGov Polls by single-digit margins. About one in eight registered voters (13%) choose neither one of them, but just 6 percent currently say they are undecided.
The president consistently fares better with his own partisans than Biden does with his, as many of those Democratic primary voters who supported Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders have not yet fully committed to the presumptive Democratic nominee. This week, Independents favor the president.
Just as in the last presidential election, both candidates are more disliked than liked, and by relatively similar margins. Republican and Democratic registered voters are almost mirror images of each other (more than eight in 10 like their party’s likely nominees, while registered Independents dislike both (slightly more have an unfavorable opinion of Biden than of President Trump).
Democrats are more likely to express intensely negative views of Trump than Republicans hold about Biden; however, Republicans are more likely to be strongly favorable when it comes to their opinion of the president than Democrats are strongly favorable toward Biden.
The president continues to fare better than Biden on questions about handling the economy, even though most Americans believe the economy is in recession. Half of Americans (51%) approve of how President Trump is handling the economy, higher than his 44 percent overall approval rating. But a majority of registered voters (56%) say they are uneasy about how the President is handling the coronavirus pandemic.