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Fox News Poll: Over half of voters say they are worse off compared to 2020

Only about 1 in 5 voters say they are better off today than four hears ago, according to the latest Fox News national survey.

Are you better off than you were four years ago? That question was asked by Ronald Reagan during a decisive 1980 debate with then-President Jimmy Carter. 

Only about 1 in 5 voters today answers yes, according to the latest Fox News national survey. 

Just 22% say they are better off than four years ago, while more than twice that many -- 52% -- say they are worse off.  One quarter say their situation is the same.

Republicans (72%) and independents (59%) say they are worse off than four years ago, while Democrats say they are better off (37%) or the same (35%).


Overall, 73% rate the economy negatively. That is actually an improvement since last May when 83% felt that way, and it is still almost three times as many as say the economy is in excellent or good shape (26%). The current ratings are nearly back to where they were in the early days of Joe Biden’s presidency: 29% positive vs. 69% negative.

Republicans (93%) and independents (86%) are far more likely than Democrats (49%) to give the economy bad marks.  Last May, Democrats were much more negative -- nearly 20 points more likely to say the economy was in bad shape (67%), while the numbers among Republicans (95%) and independents (90%) are nearly the same as today.

For several months there's been steady chatter on the left that consumer confidence is rising and Biden will surely get credit for this great economy," says Republican pollster Daron Shaw who conducts Fox News surveys with Democrat Chris Anderson. "It seems what we are seeing in the data is Democrats coming home – partisanship is informing economic evaluations, not the other way around. Until we see movement among independents and Republicans, color me skeptical."

Thirty-eight percent approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, while 61% disapprove -- and that’s his highest approval on the economy in nearly a year. On inflation, his approval matched a record-high, albeit dismal, of 34%, while on immigration, only 30% approve, a new low. 

The president has blamed inflation on corporate greed, and that’s resonating with some voters: 45% blame high prices on corporate price gouging, while 44% blame too much government spending.

The president’s overall job rating remains near his lowest: 41% approve vs. 58% disapprove.  Last month it was 42-58%. The low of 40-59% came in November 2023 and July 2022.

When asked to name the administration’s accomplishments (without the aid of a list), 38% can’t think of anything or offer a negative response. Thinking back to the Trump administration, 27% are either unable to name anything positive or mention a negative. 

Voters say the Biden administration’s top accomplishments are the economy/jobs (19%), not being Trump (6%), student loan forgiveness (6%), and infrastructure (6%).  The top success for Trump is also the economy (35%), followed by immigration (10%), foreign policy (9%), and "everything" (5%).  

"More voters fondly remember Trump's economic successes than can recall any of Biden's. That underscores the challenge Biden faces. He must connect the dots between his major policy initiatives and the economic benefits to not just the overall economy, but all household finances," says Anderson.

On the flip side, the most often mentioned failures for Biden include immigration/border security (31%) and the economy/inflation (17%). For Trump’s, it is more personal than policy. Twenty-three percent rate his personal characteristics and divisiveness as a failure, and that’s higher than January 6 (12%) and COVID response (12%).  


Roughly equal shares say "everything" each administration did was a failure (15% Biden, 13% Trump), while twice as many think Trump had no failures (13% Trump, 6% Biden). 

In both a hypothetical 5-way ballot test and a head-to-head matchup, Trump is narrowly favored over Biden, although his 5-point edge is within the margin of sampling error. Notably this is the third time in the last four national surveys that Trump’s support has hit 50% in the 2-way against Biden, something he failed to achieve until November 2023.  

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. receives 12% support, down from 15% in November. He takes votes from both sides, as 10% of Democrats and 8% of Republicans back him. 


Voters saying they are better off than they were four years ago back Biden (by 66 points), as do those whose situation is the same (+30). Those who are worse off mostly support Trump (+52). 

Biden carries Black voters by 45 points, down from a 65-point advantage before the 2020 election. He is also favored by Whites with a college degree (+17), urban voters (+21), and moderates (+5). Trump does well among men (+12), rural voters (+31), Whites without a degree (+31), independents (+14), and voters under age 30 (+18). Partisans are almost entirely home, with 91% of Democrats behind Biden and 93% of Republicans with Trump. 

Eight in 10 Democrats and Republicans say they are extremely or very interested in the election. 

The economy, election integrity, immigration, and health care are the top issues to voters as they decide which presidential candidate to support, with nearly half or more saying each is extremely important. Fewer feel that way about abortion, foreign policy, and climate change. 

Voters trust Biden on two of the top four issues by single-digit margins -- election integrity (by 6 points) and health care (+3), while Trump is trusted by double-digit margins on the other two -- immigration (+18) and the economy (+15), as well as on foreign policy (+11). 

That’s quite different from how things looked in the fall of 2020, when Trump was preferred by just 2 points on the economy, and it was Biden who was favored on immigration by 8 points. The president’s biggest strengths today are abortion (+12) and climate change (+18).  

On their respective favorable ratings, not only is Trump’s higher than Biden’s, but also views of him have held steady while Biden’s have fallen. Some 39% of voters view Biden favorably, down 16 points compared to his 55% rating in late October 2020. Trump’s favorable is 45%, one point higher than his 44% just before the 2020 election.  

Kennedy bests them both: 47% favorable, 43% unfavorable. More Republicans (56%) and independents (55%) view him positively than Democrats (33%).  

Nearly one in five voters (17%) have a negative view of both Biden and Trump, and in the 2-way matchup these so-called "double haters" go for Biden by just 2 points. Last month, they preferred Trump by 3 points. (It is typical to see results among such a small subgroup fluctuate.)  In 2020, double haters went for Biden by 17 points. 

It is noteworthy that Biden performs as well as he does among double haters given nearly all of them disapprove of his job performance (89%).  

Yet many voters who only somewhat disapprove of Biden still back his re-election (41%), while virtually all who strongly disapprove of him favor Trump (92%). 

Biden’s state of the union speech failed to move the needle on his mental soundness, as the exact same number, 37%, think he has what it takes to serve effectively as president today as did last month. By a 12-point margin, more think Trump (49%) has the mental fitness to serve. And by a similar margin, more Republicans (84%) say Trump is mentally fit than Democrats say the same about Biden (73%). Independents are 22 points more likely to say Trump is fit. 


Many see this as a high-stakes election, as 72% of Biden supporters believe electing Trump would end our democracy, and 61% of Trump’s supporters say the same about re-electing Biden. 

In a hypothetical matchup, Vice President Kamala Harris receives 45% to Trump’s 51% -- almost identical to the Biden-Trump matchup. The only difference is Trump tops 50% support, something he’s never done (nationally) against Biden. 

Harris’s favorable rating (38% positive, 59% negative) roughly match Biden’s (39-60%). 

Two-thirds think it is important that Biden and Trump debate, and 7 in 10 say skipping d

ebates shows a candidate’s weakness. More Republicans (71%) than Democrats (60%) say Biden-Trump debates are important.


Conducted March 22-25, 2024 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News survey includes interviews with a sample of 1,094 registered voters randomly selected from a national voter file. Respondents spoke with live interviewers on landlines (122) and cellphones (717) or completed the survey online after receiving a text (255). Results based on the full sample have a margin of sampling error of ±3 percentage points. Weights are generally applied to age, race, education, and area variables to ensure the demographics of respondents are representative of the registered voter population.

Fox News’ Victoria Balara contributed to this report.

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