For all the apparent polling momentum for Biden, anyone anticipating a vastly different electoral outcome this November has to contend with a stark reality: President Trump’s 2016 voters are solidly behind his re-election.
Despite months of upheaval, Trump’s 2016 coalition is undented and also fired up for the campaign ahead.
Not only are his 2016 voters overwhelmingly supporting this time around (96% indicate they’d vote for him over Biden), 70% strongly approve of the job he’s doing as president (93% overall approval), and 57% are “extremely excited” about voting for him in November. Contrast that to a scant 33% of 2016 Clinton voters who are that enthusiastic about voting for Biden this year.
This Axios-SurveyMonkey poll includes 2,121 voters who cast ballots for Trump four years ago, shows these voters laser focused on the economy and deeply opposed to the protests and political demonstrations that have taken place across the country since the killing of George Floyd.
Fully 50% of Trump voters single out jobs and the economy as the most critical set of issues right now, more than double the proportion of Biden voters so focused on these concerns. For Trump voters, no other issue reaches into double-digits.
Trump voters overwhelmingly oppose the protests and demonstrations that continue around the country, and do so strongly: by a factor of 10x, more say they “strongly oppose” than “strongly support” those expressions and actions (50% to 5%). They largely see the police as using not enough rather than too much force in dealing with looting and vandalizing businesses (77% say “not enough” vs. just 4% who say “too much”). While 78% of Biden voters perceive the police as using too much force on the protests more generally, just 12% of Trump agree with that assessment.
The drive to “defund police” also meets widespread opposition among Trump voters. Overall, 87% oppose reducing funding for police in favor of more funding social services like housing and mental health, including 77% who strongly oppose the idea.
The views of the broader movement also reveal that opinion among Trump voters is not monolithic: Asked about Black Lives Matter, 27% of Trump voters indicate favorable views (but just 9% very favorable), with 63% holding unfavorable ones (with 43% very unfavorable).
Nationally, widespread support for Black Lives Matter
The recent protests and the underlying movement for racial justice receive widespread support nationally, despite the opposition among Trump’s core supporters. More than half of the country (55%) says race relations in the U.S. are getting worse, with Blacks (64%) and Hispanics (63%) particularly apt to say things are deteriorating on this front.
A solid 62% nationwide say they support the protests and political demonstrations that have taken place since the killing of George Floyd. Although Blacks express the most support—a full 86% say they support the protests, including 69% who express strong support—majorities of people of every ethnicity say they support these protests, including whites (56%), Asians (68%), and Hispanics (66%).
Some 14% of people say they’ve attended one of these recent protests or political demonstrations that have taken place since the killing of George Floyd, with Blacks nearly three times as likely as whites to say they have done so (29% vs. 10%). For about half of Blacks (49%) and more than one third of whites (36%) who attended, this marked the first time they participated in a protest or political demonstration. Heading into the elections this fall, that increase in political activation may become important, particularly as the increase in people driven to take action is heavily skewed to the Democrats, and President Trump’s base of core supporters is so small.
Nearly half (46%) of Blacks say they are more involved in politics or causes in their community now than a year ago—significantly higher than the number of whites (30%), Hispanics (35%), or Asians (35%) who say the same. Democrats are about 1.5X as likely as Republicans to say they’re more involved now than last year (42% vs. 29%). Nearly six in 10 Blacks (59%), the highest of any group by race or ethnicity, say they are extremely or very hopeful that their involvement in politics and local causes will help affect real positive change in their community.
Overall, 51% say that encouraging people of color to vote in elections is the way to make the greatest difference for people of color in this country—that’s double the amount who say the most important change will be to recruit more people of color to run for office. Just 15% of people overall say that demonstrating or protesting will make the greatest difference for people of color in this country.
For full results, click through the interactive toplines below.
Read more about our polling methodology here.
Which one of the following issues matters MOST to you right now?
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president?
Do you think race relations in the United States are getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
Do you support or oppose the protests and political demonstrations that have taken place across the country since the killing of George Floyd?
Are the police generally using too much or not enough force when it comes to dealing with…-Looting or vandalizing businesses
Are the police generally using too much or not enough force when it comes to dealing with…-Protests and political demonstrations
Do you support or oppose reducing the funding for the police in your community in order to fund an increase in social services for programs like housing and mental health?
Have you attended one of the protests or political demonstrations that have taken place since the killing of George Floyd?
Was this the first time you participated in a protest or political demonstration?
Have any of the following ever happened to you personally? (Please select all that apply)
Which of the following social movements do you support? (Select all that apply).
Do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of each of the following?-Black Lives Matter
Do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of each of the following?-Defund the Police
Compared to last year, are you more or less involved in politics or causes in your community?
How hopeful are you that being involved in politics or causes in your community will affect real positive change?
Which do you think will make the greatest difference for people of color in this country?
If the 2020 presidential election were being held today among the following candidates, for whom would you vote?
In the 2016 election, did you vote for:
How excited were you to vote for Donald Trump for president in 2016?
How excited are you to vote for Donald Trump for president in 2020?
How excited are you to vote for Joe Biden for president in 2020?
In your view, what's the single most important attribute for Joe Biden's (2020) vice presidential running mate to have?