Trump v Biden: who’s ahead in the latest polls? (2024)

Last updated on May 31st 2024

Latest polling averages, %



Likely range


On November 5th Americans will go to the polls to elect their next president. The contest will feel familiar: the main two candidates are the same as in 2020. Joe Biden, the incumbent, faced no viable competition for the Democratic nomination. His predecessor in office, Donald Trump, easily saw off a crowded field in the Republican primary. This will be the first rematch election in almost 70 years. After Mr Trump lost the previous election, his supporters tried to overturn the result. He faces federal charges over his alleged participation in that scheme, as well as three other criminal cases. On May 30th, in his first criminal trial, Mr Trump was convicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records. Never before has a former American president been convicted of a crime. Mr Biden’s presidency, meanwhile, has been defined by high inflation, big industrial-policy bills and turmoil abroad, in Afghanistan, Ukraine and the Middle East. Both men are unpopular. The election will be less a popularity contest than a referendum on which man Americans think is the least bad option.
The Economist is tracking the contest. Here you can find the latest polls, though it should be noted that pre-election polls have limited predictive power for the final result until the end of the summer in an election year. Explore how a hypothetical voter might cast a ballot with our interactive build-a-voter model. And if you are interested in contests elsewhere, see our British election tracker, our European elections poll tracker and more at our election tracker hub.

Voting intention, %

Key dates

The election is still many months away, but with the two candidates now in effect decided, the campaign can begin in earnest.

Jun 27th

First presidential debate

Joe Biden and Donald Trump agreed to meet for the first of two debates, sidestepping the commission that normally arranges three. Normally, the candidates hash out important issues (or at least trade insults) for 90 minutes.

Jul 15th

Republican National Convention

Typically a four-day pageant for the party’s chosen nominee, the party will formally select a presidential and vice-presidential candidate in Milwaukee.

Aug 19th

Democratic National Convention

Similar to the Republican convention a month earlier, the Democrats will formally nominate Mr Biden as their presidential candidate in Chicago.

Sep 10th

Second presidential debate

The two main candidates will meet again a week after Labor Day (traditionally when Americans begin to pay attention to the election). Holding the debates so long before most people vote will no doubt lessen their impact on the race.

Nov 5th

Election day

Polls open on a Tuesday in early November, though early voting and mail-in ballot initiatives will mean many Americans will have already voted. Counting ballots will go on for weeks in some states.

Jan 6th 2025

Results certification

Once all votes are counted, the results must be certified by Congress. Normally a pro-forma event, in 2021 Mr Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol building to stop the certification. He is on trial for his alleged role in the attack.

Jan 20th 2025


The new (well, newly re-elected) president will be sworn into office for his second term on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington, DC.

The candidates

Trump v Biden: who’s ahead in the latest polls? (1)

Joe Biden


Joe Biden, at 81, will be the oldest ever major-party presidential candidate, breaking his own record set in 2020. Mr Biden won a seat in the Senate at the age of 30 and held it for over three decades. He made failed bids for president in 1988 and 2008, and served as Barack Obama’s vice-president. Despite a reputation as a centrist Democrat, in office he has pushed to expand the state and lobbied for unions. He has also led an international coalition to support Ukraine against Russia’s invasion. Although he promises to “finish the job” if re-elected, many voters think the job may finish him.

Trump v Biden: who’s ahead in the latest polls? (2)

Donald Trump

Former president

Donald Trump’s extraordinary campaign follows his no less remarkable term as America’s 45th president, which concluded shortly after his supporters staged an armed attack on the Capitol. His alleged role in instigating the attack and a broader effort to overturn results of the 2020 election resulted in two criminal indictments, in federal court and Georgia state court. He faces two others, totalling 91 felony charges. The 77-year-old denies all wrongdoing. Mr Trump is a self-proclaimed billionaire, who made (and lost) much of his money in real estate, before he became a reality-TV star. This time his campaign pairs familiar culture-war issues (building a border wall, “left-wing gender insanity”) with fresh grievances (against the lawyers prosecuting his cases and the judges overseeing them).


FiveThirtyEight; national polls; The Economist

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