Respondents Voice Overwhelming Support for Reproductive Rights, Paint Dreary Economic Picture

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The latest national poll from the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion found President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump tied at 42% support. Other findings include poll respondents' take on the economy and reproductive rights.


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At 42%, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are tied for support among 1,688 likely voters in the upcoming 2024 U.S. general election, according to the latest national poll from the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion.
“Both candidates are stuck in a place where the future is uncertain and they, two of the most powerful men on the planet, are simply along for the electoral ride,” said Associate Professor John Cluverius, director of survey research at the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion. “Unfortunately for both candidates, they may be at the mercy of events outside their control, whether it’s voters’ feelings about the economy, who they trust on issues like immigration and abortion, and the progress of Donald Trump’s legal issues.”
Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is supported by 7% of respondents while 6% remain undecided.
While respondents represent a broad spectrum of opinions and perspectives, both candidates have the support of the vast majority of their respective parties. Eighty-six percent of self-identified Democrats plan to vote for Biden while 84% of self-identified Republicans plan to vote for Trump. Trump nearly doubles Biden’s support among independents, ahead 37% to 20%.
Less than eight months out from the election, more than half of respondents (52%) view the sitting president unfavorably compared to the 41% who view him favorably. Comparatively, 44% of respondents view Trump favorably while nearly half (49%) view him unfavorably.
With a long campaigning season ahead, nearly all respondents have already made up their minds. More than 90% of Trump or Biden voters say they will definitely vote for their preferred candidate, while less than 10% say they could change their minds.
Rodrigo Castro Cornejo, an assistant professor of political science and associate director of the Center for Public Opinion, said it will be a rocky campaigning season. 
“We continue to observe a polarized electorate on immigration, abortion politics and the Israel-Hamas war, all of which will be major issues during this presidential campaign,” he said. “Moreover, a majority of Republican voters still engage in election denialism: 76% of Republican voters believe Donald Trump probably/definitely won the 2020 presidential election. This belief, which contradicts the best available evidence, represents a major challenge for American democracy and will likely be exacerbated in this election cycle.”
Resounding Support for Women’s Reproductive Rights Heard
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of likely voters support access to abortion procedures in every state, according to the Center for Public Opinion’s latest poll. This response is reported a week after Arizona’s Supreme Court revived a near-total ban on the procedure penned in 1864.  
After Alabama temporarily paused in-vitro fertilization procedures earlier this year, similar support for IVF was heard among respondents. More than half (58%) oppose a ban while 42% support such a measure. In fact, opposition to such a measure was so profound it included more than half of each demographic polled: 59% of women, 57% of men, 65% of Democrats, 52% of Republicans and 54% of independents.
The February ruling is a move that “defies common sense and logic,” Associate Professor Heidi Collins Fantasia, chair of the UMass Lowell Solomont School of Nursing, said in a statement.
A board-certified women’s health nurse practitioner with more than 25 years of experience, Fantasia said the decision lacked scientific understanding and will have a lasting impact not only for families experiencing infertility but the state’s health care system writ large.
“We are starting to see the beginning of a chaotic era of illogical state decisions that intrude on the privacy of sensitive health care decisions that should only involve individuals and their health care provider,” she said.
The ruling, Fantasia continued, marks the latest curtailment of reproductive rights and privacy since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which allowed for a constitutional right and access to abortions.
Nearly two years after the repeal of the 1973 measure, a majority of likely voters surveyed (65%) do not blame Biden for the increase in abortion restrictions across the nation whereas 36% do. However, more than half of respondents (52%) blame his immediate predecessor for the change in health care policy while 48% say the blame does not lie with Trump.
Economic Uncertainty
Affording basic necessities – housing, food, clothing and medical care – has become much or somewhat more difficult in the last six months for more than half of respondents (54%) while just one in 10 (11%) say it has eased. A third (35%) report their budgets holding steady.
For those feeling a squeeze in their wallet, the last six months are only the latest chapter in what they feel is a yearslong economic downturn. Just one quarter of respondents say they are doing much (9%) or somewhat (16%) better money-wise since before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. 
Voters’ economic outlooks are also polarized along partisan lines. Nearly three quarters (70%) of Republicans say it has become much or somewhat harder to make ends meet over the last six months, compared to 36% of Democrats and 55% of independents who say the same.
Respondents earning less than $50,000 per year are having a particularly tough time – 64% say things are getting harder financially. However, nearly half (45%) of those making $100,000 report similar challenges.
The online-based survey was conducted from Wednesday, April 3, to Monday, April 8, 2024, and has a margin of error of plus or minus +/-2.7 percentage points. The survey was designed and analyzed by the university’s Center for Public Opinion and fielded by YouGov. Detailed poll results, including topline and full methodology, are available at
UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion presents events and polling on political and social issues to provide opportunities for civic engagement, experiential learning and real-world research. The center is a member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Transparency Initiative.