Long Island University, Hornstein Center National Poll: What Americans Think Before Highly Anticipated First Presidential Debate

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BROOKVILLE, NY, September 28, 2020 – Results of a breaking Long Island University Steven S. Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling and Analysis pre-debate national poll were announced on the eve of the first presidential debate for Election 2020.

HIGH VIEWERSHIP EXPECTED

National poll results found that 75 percent of Americans are following closely news about candidates for the 2020 presidential election. A high viewership is expected with 78 percent of Americans saying they plan to tune into watch President Donald Trump debate former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020.

BIDEN IN THE LEAD:

BIDEN 48%; TRUMP 30%; UNDECIDED 10%; ANOTHER CANDIDATE 5%

The importance of presidential debates is widely known to influence voters. Before the presidential debates kick off on Tuesday evening, Americans were asked who they would vote for if the election were held today. Respondents said they would vote today for Biden (48 percent), Trump (30 percent), and another candidate (5 percent). An additional 10 percent of respondents said they were undecided and 6 percent said they wouldn’t vote if the elections were held today. Respondents also believe that Biden will do a better job in the debate. Among respondents, 43 percent of Americans believe that Biden will do a better job in the debate, while 32 percent believe that Trump will have a stronger performance.

ECONOMY IS THE ONE ISSUE THAT MATTERS MOST FOR VOTERS

While a variety of reasons were mentioned, the one issue that mattered most on deciding how to vote among respondents was the economy (26 percent). Following close behind was racial inequality (13 percent), health care (11 percent), coronavirus (10 percent), and law and order (10 percent). Americans between the age of 30 and 60 and those with higher household income reported the economy at a higher rate as the most important issue than other demographics. Americans between the age of 18 and 29 reported racial inequality at double the rate of other age demographics (24 percent).

MINDS MADE UP

Among respondents, the majority of Americans (73 percent) say their mind is made up on their election vote, while 14 percent say they might change their minds and 13 percent say they aren’t sure.

VOTER LIKELIHOOD

Among the respondents, 87 percent said they are likely to vote in the November elections (1,314 total likely voters).

IN-PERSON VOTING – METHOD OF CHOICE

Among the respondents, 47 percent of Americans said they plan to vote in person, 36 percent plan to mail in their ballot, and 17 percent said they still aren’t sure. Americans over the age of 60 plan to mail in their ballot at a higher rate than other demographics.

NATIONAL POLL DATA
SEPTEMBER 24-26, 2020
1,508 RESPONDENTS
MODEL OF ERROR +/- 3.5%

METHODOLOGY
This Long Island University Steven S. Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling & Analysis online poll was conducted through SurveyMonkey from September 24-26, 2020 among a national sample of 1,508 adults ages 18 and up. Respondents for this survey were selected from the nearly three million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Data for this week have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

ABOUT THE LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY STEVEN S. HORNSTEIN CENTER FOR POLICY, POLLING, AND ANALYSIS
The Long Island University Steven S. Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling, and Analysis conducts independent polling, empirical research, and analysis on a wide range of public issues. Our studies inform the public and policy makers about critical issues, attitudes, and trends shaping the world. Faculty and scholars from all schools of study at Long Island University participate in data collection and analysis. Visit liu.edu/Hornstein for more information and results from the pre-debate national poll.

ABOUT LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY
Long Island University, founded in 1926, continues to redefine higher education, providing high quality academic instruction by world-class faculty. Recognized by Forbes for its emphasis on experiential learning and by the Brookings Institution for its “value added” to student outcomes, LIU offers over 250 degree programs, with a network of 270,000 alumni that includes industry leaders and entrepreneurs across the globe. Visit liu.edu for more information.