How do voters rate President Trump’s handling of the issues most important to them?

Hoang NguyenData Journalist
October 02, 2020, 7:00 PM UTC

Following the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, voters have their first glimpse of where each candidate stands on issues relating to the economy, the coronavirus pandemic and vaccine development, and the Supreme Court vacancy.

Now new data from the latest Economist/YouGov poll reveals how likely voters rate Trump’s performance on the issues that are most important to them. 

Just a month away from the election, voters are most likely to name health care (28%) as their most important issue, followed by jobs and the economy (23%), and climate change and the environment (13%). 

The issues that voters consider to be most important to them varies depending on the candidate they support. Likely voters who support Joe Biden tend to say health care is their most important issue (43%), but climate change and the environment ranks second (21%) followed by jobs and the economy (10%). 

The order of importance shifts drastically among likely voters who support Donald Trump. Many Trump supporters rate jobs and the economy (39%) as their most important issue, leaving other issues of health care (13%), immigration (12%), and national security and foreign policy (11%) virtually tied in terms of importance. 
So how do likely voters rate President Trump’s handling of their most important issue?

According to likely voters who consider immigration their most important issue, 77% approve of how the president handled the issue. President Trump also earns a high approval rating on his handling of the jobs and the economy – 79% of likely voters who consider it their top issue approve of his handling of the issue. More than half of voters (58%) who consider taxes and government spending their top issue approve of the president’s performance on the issue.

But on the issue of health care – which the largest share of likely voters consider to be their top issue – just 14% of that group approve of Trump’s handling of the issue. Trump also fares poorly in assessments of how he handles issues of climate change (only 5% of likely voters who consider this their top issue approve of Trump’s performance on the issue), civil rights (23%), and education (also 23%). 
See the full toplines and tables from this week’s Economist/YouGov poll

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 registered voters interviewed online between September 27 – 30, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.8% for the overall sample. 

Image: Getty