• Polling

The Latest Perceptions of the Political Parties

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 By Maryann Cousens
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POLL: Perceptions of the Political Parties

This Navigator Research report contains polling data on Americans’ latest attitudes towards the political parties, including what issues Americans want Congress to prioritize and how those issues compare to what they see as the priorities of each party, tracking attitudes around the indictments against former President Donald Trump, and reactions to some of the positions taken by Republican candidates in the first presidential primary debate.

With just over a year to go until the 2024 election, inflation and the economy continue to dominate as the top priorities of Americans.

48 percent of Americans say inflation is the most important issue for Congress to focus on right now, while 46 percent say jobs and the economy is their priority. While economic issues commanded the top two spots, around one in three Americans said corruption in government (32 percent), health care (32 percent), and Social Security and Medicare (30 percent) are most important for Congress to be focusing on. 

  • Democrats are most likely to prioritize climate change and the environment (46 percent) followed by inflation (41 percent). Independents rank inflation and jobs and the economy as the top priorities (49 percent each), followed by corruption in government and Social Security and Medicare (39 percent and 35 percent, respectively). Republicans also list inflation and jobs and the economy first (56 percent and 55 percent, respectively), but list immigration and corruption in government as their next top priorities (45 percent and 41 percent, respectively).

Issues related to health care, abortion, democracy, climate change and the environment, and student loans continue to be where Biden and Democrats are the most trusted.

By a 14-point margin, more Americans trust Biden and Democrats when it comes to health care (49 percent Biden/Democrats – 35 percent Republicans). Additionally, Americans trust Biden and Democrats more by double-digit margins when it comes to issues including abortion (net +15; 48 percent Biden/Democrats – 33 percent Republicans) and climate change and the environment (net +14; 46 percent Biden/Democrats – 32 percent Republicans), and high-single-digit margins on issues like student loans (net +9; 46 percent Biden/Democrats – 37 percent Republicans) and democracy (net +8; 46 percent Biden/Democrats – 38 percent Republicans). Similarly, Americans believe Biden and Democrats are the most focused on issues surrounding student loans (66 percent), climate change (61 percent), and health care (50 percent). 

  • Inflation continues to be an area in which Biden and Democrats fare the most poorly, with 49 percent of Americans trusting Republicans more compared to 36 percent who trust Democrats more. While Americans as a whole trust Republicans on issues of the economy (net +8), Americans making less than $50,000 a year narrowly trust Biden and Democrats more on the issue (net +3).

Three in five Americans continue to say former president Donald Trump has committed a crime.

60 percent of Americans say Trump has committed a crime, including nine in ten Democrats (90 percent), 59 percent of independents, and more than one in four Republicans (27 percent). Despite most agreeing that Trump has committed a crime, Americans are split on whether he will actually be convicted (42 percent will be – 40 percent will not be). Democrats are 31 points less likely to believe that he will be convicted (59 percent) than believe he has committed a crime (90 percent), and independents are 19 points less likely to believe he will be convicted (40 percent) than believe he has committed a crime (59 percent). Despite a minority of Americans feeling there will be a conviction, there continues to be strong sentiment that the indictments facing Trump are serious: 

  • 73 percent of Americans feel the indictment relating to Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election leading up to the January 6th, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol is serious, including 54 percent who feel the indictment is very serious. 72 percent of independents and 49 percent of Republicans believe this indictment is serious.
  • 70 percent say the indictment relating to the former president’s attempt to overturn the election in Georgia—with charges including a violation of the state racketeering law, conspiracy to impersonate a public officer, forgery, and making false statements to government officials and law enforcement—is serious, with 53 percent saying the indictment is very serious.

As we approach the first of the 2024 primary elections, Americans increasingly view Trump and Biden as each party’s nominees.

72 percent of Democrats view Biden as their party’s eventual nominee, up from 68 percent in early August. Likewise, 68 percent of Republicans view Trump as the party’s eventual nominee. Independents are more unsure, but majorities believe the 2024 presidential election will be a Biden and Trump rematch, with just over half saying Biden and Trump will be the nominees (53 percent and 56 percent, respectively). 

  • Despite his party viewing him as the eventual nominee, Republicans feel strongly that Donald Trump should participate in the next Republican primary debate, with around two in three stating he should participate (63 percent). Pluralities of Democrats and independents also agree that the former president should participate in the next Republican primary debate (45 percent and 49 percent, respectively). 

While Americans feel Donald Trump should participate in the next Republican primary debate, positions emerging from August’s Republican presidential primary debate are deeply unpopular. More than three in four Americans disagree with a military invasion of Mexico (78 percent) and disagree that the age to qualify for Medicare or Social Security should be raised to age 70 (76 percent). 69 percent disagree that climate change is a hoax, and fewer than one in three say that whoever wins the presidency should pardon Donald Trump of any crimes (30 percent).

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Three in Five Americans Support a National Law Protecting Abortion Medication

Poll on abortion rights in the U.S., including support for creating a federal protection to access prescription abortion medication and trust in the Supreme Court as the Court prepares to hear arguments on abortion-related cases.

Three in Five Constituents Support Congress Taking Action to Federally Protect Medication Abortion and IVF

Battleground poll on the recent Alabama Supreme Court decision impacting IVF, including the most concerning outcomes from the decision and support for Congress federally protecting both medication abortion and IVF.

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,000 registered voters from September 7-September 11, 2023. 99 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 73 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 105 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 99 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters. The survey was conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the national registered voter population across a variety of demographic variables.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org