Economy, Immigration Could Return Trump to Office, New Poll Suggests, Though Voters Agree With Democrats on Abortion

A new survey of Florida and Arizona voters shows that Americans trust Mr. Trump more on the issues that matter most.

AP/Ross D. Franklin
Protesters at Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade abortion decision on June 24, 2022. AP/Ross D. Franklin

While a majority of voters in two key battleground states agree with President Biden that abortion should remain a constitutional right, their concerns about the economy and immigration could help put President Trump back in the White House this year, according to a new poll. 

A CBS News poll of voters in Arizona and Florida finds that they personally would back a ballot measure enshrining abortion rights in their state constitutions. On that same ballot, however, many would vote for Mr. Trump. They say issues other than abortion will decide their presidential vote. 

Arizona could prove to be decisive not only in this year’s presidential election, but for control of Congress as well. There is an open Senate seat and a number of competitive House districts. Mr. Biden has not yet proven to be a drag on his Democratic nominees there, however. 

In a two-man race between Messrs. Biden and Trump, the former president leads the incumbent, 52 percent to 47 percent in Arizona, even though Mr. Biden won the state by 0.3 percent in 2020. Even in a multi-candidate field, Mr. Trump still leads by four points. 

On the Senate side, the Democrat is leading by a large margin. Congressman Ruben Gallego leads Republican Kari Lake, 49 percent to 36 percent. 

The most important issues to Arizona voters are the economy, inflation, and immigration. When asked to describe issues as either “major” or “minor” factors in deciding who to vote for this year, 82 percent of voters said the economy was a major factor, 78 percent said inflation would be a major factor in deciding, and 61 percent said the southern border would be a major factor. 

Other top issues included “the state of democracy,” with 70 percent of Arizona voters saying that would be a major deciding factor for them. Even as Mr. Biden tries to make this election increasingly about abortion rights, just 51 percent of voters say abortion will be a major factor in deciding their vote. 

On the economy, just half of Arizonans say their personal financial situation is either very or fairly good, and 77 percent say they have seen prices for goods increase in recent weeks, which is helping contribute to their dour view of both their state’s and their country’s economies. 

Just 30 percent view the American economy as being very or fairly good, while 68 percent view it as very or fairly bad. Their view of the Arizona economy is also deeply negative, with 38 percent saying it is good and 58 percent saying it is bad. 

While their views on the economy are overwhelmingly pessimistic, voters also believe Mr. Biden would either make their financial situation significantly worse or not change it at all. Just 17 percent of voters say they will be better off financially come 2028 if Mr. Biden wins a second term, compared to 45 percent who say the same about Mr. Trump. 

On immigration, voters also trust Mr. Trump to put the interests of the American people ahead of recent immigrants. In total, just 13 percent say Mr. Biden will put Americans before immigrants, while 72 percent say Mr. Trump will put Americans first. 

The former president appears to be making gains in critical demographics that helped put Mr. Biden in office in 2020. The former president’s campaign has been saying for months that they are targeting young and minority voters this year, hoping to eat into Mr. Biden’s key constituencies. 

In Arizona, the tactic seems to be working. Among voters between the ages of 18 and 44, Mr. Trump wins 43 percent of the vote compared to Mr. Biden’s 56 percent. The two presidents also split the Hispanic vote — a critical bloc in Arizona — with each winning 49 percent. 

In Florida — a state that has shifted to the right rapidly in the last decade — the incumbent president’s prospects were always poor. Democrats had hoped that the inclusion of a ballot measure to decide the fate of Governor DeSantis’ six-week abortion ban could make the state competitive this year. 

That does not seem to be happening, according to this poll. Mr. Trump currently leads Mr. Biden by nine points, 54 percent to 45 percent. Among a multi-candidate field, Mr. Trump leads the incumbent by 13 points, winning 49 percent compared to Mr. Bide’s 36 percent. 

As in Arizona, Floridians see the economy, inflation, and the southern border as top issues, and just 53 percent see abortion as a major issue despite the presence of the abortion ballot measure this year.

In order for the ballot measure to pass and overturn the six-week ban, it would require 60 percent of voters’ support in November. According to the CBS poll, 60 percent say they would vote in favor, and 19 percent say they have not yet made up their minds. Just 20 percent say they will vote against it. 

Voters again view Mr. Trump as the person to help their wallets by 2028. Just 17 percent say they will be financially better off after a second Biden term, compared to 47 percent who say the same of a second Trump term. 

Unlike in Arizona, where the Democratic candidate is running far ahead of both his GOP opponent and Mr. Biden, the Florida Senate Democratic candidate, former congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, is falling behind. She garners just 37 percent support in this year’s Senate race, compared to Senator Rick Scott, who currently has the support of 45 percent of Florida voters.


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