Of all Americans who voted for Joe Biden, 48% vote regularly in local elections.Margin of error = ±3.3%
Who are Biden and Trump Supporters?
By Peter Levine and Bijan Harandi
We surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,267 Americans from May 29-June 10, 2020. Respondents answered more than 350 questions either in this survey or in surveys that they had taken previously. As a result, we are able to look at many more attributes of the electorate than in a typical political poll: matters like which chronic diseases Biden and Trump supporters have, whether they donate money to colleges, how they define their identity, and whether they use smartphones.
All the statistics reported here are for likely voters: those who rated their own chances of voting in November 2020 as seven or higher on a 10-point scale. “Trump supporters” are likely voters who said they would vote for Donald J. Trump if the election were held at the time of the survey; “Biden supporters” are likely voters who said they would vote for Joe Biden.
Personal identity and voting
Only 10% of whites said that race was important to their own identity (or “salient”). Among that group, Trump led by 61.5%-31%, whereas Trump’s lead among other whites was just 5 points (47%-42%–less than a majority).
More than half of African Americans (57%) said that their race was salient, and those African Americans supported Biden over Trump by 96%-3%. The margin was somewhat closer (80%-10%) among African Americans who did not report that race was salient
About one third (31%) of Latinos said that race was salient, and they favored Biden by 67%-23%. Among the majority of Latinos who said that race was not salient, Biden’s margin was somewhat narrower (60%-19%).
Biden led narrowly (48%-42%) among women who see gender as salient, but by a wide margin (52%-30%) among those who do not. Women who see gender as salient were also more likely to identify as conservative compared to women who do not see gender as important to their own identity (26% versus 18%). It appears that women who see gender as salient are more often expressing traditionalist views of gender rather than feminist views. Biden also performed better among men if they did not see gender as important to their identities.
Twenty-eight percent of voters reported that religion was important to their identity. Trump led 58%-31% among those voters, whereas Biden led by a similar margin, 58%-29.5%, among voters who did not see religion as salient.
A major reason for this difference was Protestant or Evangelical Christians. Among those who considered religion important to their identity (45% of all Protestants), Trump led, 63%-27%. Among Protestants who reported that religion was not salient, Biden led by 52.5% to 41%. It appears that Trump was boosted not by members of Protestant denominations but by those who feel they have a Christian identity.
Catholics were about half as likely as Evangelicals to see their religion as important to their identity (22% said that it was). Among those Catholics who felt that religion was salient, Biden led by 46%-44%. Among Catholics who did not consider religion salient, he led by a large margin, 50.5%-32%.
As shown in Fig. 1, Biden led among all categories of people who felt that class was not important to their own identities, and especially among those in the lowest and highest income categories who felt that way. Trump led by substantial majorities among people who felt that class was important to their identities and were in either the low- or high-income brackets. In other words, Trump led among working-class people who identified with their class and among wealthy people who identified with their class.
Civic engagement and social movement participation
In general, Biden supporters were more active than Trump supporters in politics this year. More than twice as many Biden as Trump supporters had attended a protest or rally within the past year (8% vs 3%). Biden supporters were more likely than Trump supporters to have volunteered for a campaign other than a presidential campaign in this election year (5% vs 2.5%). Twice as many Biden as Trump supporters made financial contributions to political candidates (16% vs 11%), perhaps in part because the Democratic presidential primary campaign was more competitive and drew more total donations.
Biden supporters were somewhat more active than Trump supporters in expressing their views online (21% vs. 17%) or by signing a petition (34% vs 26%), although Trump supporters were more likely to express their views at face-to-face public meetings (6% vs 4.5%).
Among Biden supporters, 44% identified with or had actively participated in support of environmental rights; 44% for women’s rights, or the #MeToo movement; 43% for racial equity, and 33% specifically for Black Lives Matter; 35.5% for Planned Parenthood; 33% for LGBTQ+ rights; 24% for the ACLU; 19% for anti-war efforts; and for 9.5% the Right to Life movement.
31% of Trump supporters identified with or had actively participated in support of the National Rifle Association, 26% for the anti-abortion movement, and 18% for the Tea Party.
Turning to philanthropy: Biden supporters were more likely to give money to colleges or universities (15% vs. 9%) and arts or cultural associations (16% vs. 5%). Trump supporters were far more likely to donate money to a religious congregation (53% vs. 35%).
Biden supporters were much more positive about vaccination for diseases in general. They were more likely to strongly agree that vaccines are safe (82% vs. 60%) and effective (81% vs. 58%). They were much more likely to strongly agree that they have an individual responsibility to be vaccinated to protect others (90% vs 72%). They were almost twice as likely to think that public authorities usually decide which vaccines to recommend based on the best interest of the community (59% vs 33%) and much more likely to think that authorities should be able to mandate vaccination (68% vs 34.5%).
(We had previously reported that 71% of Democrats, 47% of Republicans, and 61% of Independents would take a vaccine. These results are different because here we focus on likely voters who favor Biden and Trump and ask about safety.)
Given these responses about vaccination in general, it is not surprising that 89% of Biden supporters would get a COVID-19 vaccine if it were available, compared to 64% of Trump supporters.
Biden supporters were more likely than Trump supporters to say that they got health advice (on any topic) from their doctor (67% vs 61%) or from a newspaper or magazine (8% vs 2%).
Biden supporters were more likely to have been tested for COVID-19 but actually slightly less likely to believe they have had the disease than Trump supporters. Twenty-four percent of Biden supporters and only 15% of Trump supporters had either been tested for COVID-19 or had family members tested (or both).
Most Americans say they would be willing and able to self-quarantine for COVID-19 if advised to do so, but there was a partisan gap. Ninety-seven percent of Biden supporters said they would be willing and able to quarantine, compared to 89% of Trump supporters.
Most Americans also said they had already tried to isolate themselves from other people during the pandemic, but again, there was a partisan gap: 80% of Biden supporters and 67% of Trump supporters said they had tried to isolate themselves from contact with other people because of the Coronavirus.
Biden and Trump supporters were equally likely (39%) to say that the government had helped them deal with the pandemic.
Biden was winning the Catholic vote (49%-35%). Trump was winning the Evangelical/Protestant Christian vote (50.5%-41%). Among those with no religion, Biden led by a wide margin: 67% to 19%. The other religious groups were not numerous enough in our sample for reliable estimates.
More than half of Trump supporters (51%) said they attend religious services at least monthly, compared to one in three Biden supporters.
National Origins and Ancestry
Biden led among people born in the United States by 8 points (48%-40%). He led among naturalized citizens by 59 points (73.5%-14.5%).
Respondents were asked about the national origins of their families. We looked at the largest groups.
Among those people who said their ancestors came from Germany, Trump narrowly led (46%-43%). Biden was somewhat ahead among those who traced their ancestry to France, Italy, Ireland, Britain or Poland.
Among those who cited Africa as the home of their ancestors, 83% supported Biden and 9% preferred Trump. Among people of Mexican ancestry, Biden led 59% to 22%. Other national origins were not common enough for reliable estimates.
Lifestyle and consumer differences
Biden supporters were more likely than Trump supporters to say they use a smartphone as their main cell phone (94%-89%).
Biden supporters were more likely than Trump supporters to say they drink wine (42% vs 31%, in the past month). Biden supporters also consume more beer and hard liquor, but by small margins.
By a narrow plurality, most Trump supporters said they keep a gun at home or in their garage (51% do; 49% do not). Just one quarter (26%) of Biden supporters said they keep a gun.
Perhaps in part because they tend to be older, Trump supporters are more likely than Biden supporters to report various disabilities: high blood pressure (33% vs 24%), chronic pain (15% vs 8%), osteoarthritis, joint pain or inflammation (11% vs 8%), deafness of themselves or someone in their household (10% vs 5%). However, depression was higher among Biden than Trump supporters (16% vs 12%). The survey also asked about many other medical conditions that did not show meaningful partisan differences.
Again probably because of age, Trump supporters were more likely to be enrolled in Medicare Part D (16% vs 13%), but Biden supporters were more likely to participate in a federal or state health insurance marketplace such as Healthcare.gov (14% vs 9.5%). Biden supporters were more likely to have used savings to pay for healthcare (18% vs 13%).
The presidential horserace
In the whole sample of people who intended to vote, Joe Biden led Donald Trump by 50.5%-37% in May 29-June 10, 2020, with 11.5% undecided or preferring to vote for someone else.
That result was in line with other polling from the same time. Also confirming findings from other surveys, we find that 89% of Republicans would vote for Trump and 93% of Democrats would vote for Biden, with Independents split 49%-29% in favor of Biden. Trump got 41.5% support from men and 33.5% from women, whereas Biden got just over 50% from both. Biden had the support of 61% of people between ages 18 and 29, but tied Trump in the 45-59 age group (44% for each candidate). Of those who said they had voted for Trump in 2016, 87% planned to vote for him again and 6% preferred Biden. Of those who said they had voted for Hilary Clinton, 90% were for Biden and 0.5% for Trump.
Contrary to speculation that Biden might have trouble attracting the left wing of the Democratic Party, Biden drew 83% of the “very liberal” supporters, losing just 4% of them to “neither or someone else” and more of them (12.5%) to Trump. “Neither or someone else” drew the most support from moderates (15.5%). Trump might have trouble with “slightly conservative” supporters, who favored him over Biden by just 56% to 26%, compared to his 90%-6% lead among “extremely conservative” supporters