GW Politics Poll Finds Americans Concerned about Biden's Leadership and Age, Trump's Moral Character

New survey highlights a deeply divided electorate going into the 2024 election cycle.

November 28, 2023

White House

WASHINGTON (November 28, 2023) – A new George Washington University Politics Poll shows significant liabilities for U.S. President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump heading into the 2024 election. While the public sees Trump as a stronger leader and are worried about Biden’s age and health, they perceive Trump as dishonest and lacking moral integrity.

Among key traits, just 40% of the people surveyed thought President Biden  provides strong leadership of the country. When asked about former President Trump, 51% said that he provides strong leadership.  

The poll, which was conducted by researchers at GW, asked how well a series of statements identifying key traits describe both President Bident and former President Trump. The findings highlight some of the challenges President Biden faces in the upcoming election and it adds to evidence showing the nation is deeply divided going into the 2024 election cycle.

More than two-thirds of those surveyed (68%) said they believe things in this country today are off on the wrong track.

When asked if President Biden had the mental soundness to serve effectively as President, just 38% said this described him quite well or extremely well. In contrast, 46% of people surveyed rated former President Trump as having the mental soundness to serve effectively. 

Additional key results from the poll include:

  • Just 36% of those surveyed said the word honest  described former President Trump extremely well or quite well; and just 35% said the word moral could be used to describe Trump. When asked how well honest and moral described President Biden 46% and 49% respectively said these terms described Biden extremely or quite well..
  • Nearly 56% of people surveyed would describe President Biden as patriotic; 54% described the former president as patriotic.The two candidates were also rated about the same on whether they were knowledgeable with 48% and 49% saying that term described both President Biden and former President Trump, respectively.  
  • Physical health also came up as it has been an issue for both candidates in the past. On this question, former President Trump dominated with 54% saying his health is good enough to serve effectively. In comparison, just 35% of those surveyed agreed that President Biden’s health was good enough to serve.
  • Perceptions of the economy are quite pessimistic. More than half of those surveyed believe the economy is getting worse (55%) and 44% say that they and their family are worse off financially than they were a year ago.

The full poll and additional findings can be accessed here.


About the Poll

The GW Politics Poll is managed jointly by GW's School of Media and Public Affairs, Graduate  School of Political Management and Department of Political Science. The poll was conducted by YouGov. It was in the field November 7-15, 2023. It interviewed 1,500 U.S. adults 18 and older and is weighted to approximate a nationally representative sample.