Trump 49%, Harris 43%

The latest Emerson College Polling survey finds former President Donald Trump leading President Joe Biden in a national matchup, 46% to 43%; 11% are undecided. When undecided voters are asked which candidate they lean toward, 50% support Trump and 50% support Biden. 

“Since before the first presidential debate, former President Trump’s support remains at 46%, while President Biden’s support has decreased two percentage points,” Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling, said. “Notable shifts away from Biden occurred among independent voters, who break for Trump 42% to 38%; last month they broke for Biden 43% to 41%.”

With third-party candidates on the ballot, 44% support​ Trump, 40% Biden, 6% support Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and 1% support Cornel West and Jill Stein respectively.

Voter motivation varies by race, age and party: 

  • 78% of Republicans are extremely motivated, compared to 65% of Democrats and 63% of independents.
  • 79% of white voters are extremely motivated to vote in this year’s presidential election, compared to 53% of Black voters and 49% of Hispanic voters. 
  • Generally, as age increases, so does the percentage of voters who say they are extremely motivated to vote: 39% of people ages 18 to 29 are “extremely” motivated to vote, 49% of 30 to 39-year-olds, 72% of 40 to 49-year-olds, 76% of 50 to 59-year-olds, 91% of 60 to 69-year-olds, and 83% of people ages 70 and older.

A series of prominent Democrats were tested in a head-to-head ballot against Donald Trump:

  • Vice President Kamala Harris: 49% Trump, 43% Harris, 8% undecided
  • Senator Bernie Sanders: 48% Trump, 42% Sanders, 10% undecided
  • California Governor Gavin Newsom: 48% Trump, 40% Newsom, 12% undecided
  • Former Vice President Al Gore: 47% Trump, 42% Gore, 11% undecided
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: 48% Trump, 41% Clinton, 11% undecided
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren: 49% Trump, 39% Warren, 13% undecided
  • Secretary of State Pete Buttigieg: 49% Trump, 39% Buttigieg, 12% undecided
  • Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro: 46% Trump, 38% Shapiro, 16% undecided
  • Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer: 48% Trump, 38% Whitmer, 15% undecided

President Biden’s job approval increased two points since last month, from 37% to 39%, while his disapproval dropped one point, from 53% to 52%. 

A majority of voters (56%) think the U.S. foreign policy is worse now than it was four years ago. Twenty-seven percent think foreign policy is better now; 17% think it is about the same. 

“Perception of the status of U.S. foreign policy varies by party: 48% of Democrats think foreign policy is better now than four years ago, 87% of Republicans think it is worse, while 54% of independents think it is worse,” Kimball noted.


The Emerson College Polling national survey was conducted July 7-8, 2024. The sample of registered voters, n=1,370, has a credibility interval, similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE), of +/- 2.6 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, education, race, age, party affiliation, and region based on 2024 registration modeling. Turnout modeling is based on U.S. Census parameters, and voter registration data. 

It is important to remember that subsets based on demographics, such as gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity, carry with them higher credibility intervals, as the sample size is reduced. Survey results should be understood within the poll’s range of scores, and with a confidence interval of 95% a poll will fall outside the range of scores 1 in 20 times. 

Data was collected by contacting cell phones via MMS-to-web text, landlines via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) (both lists provided by Aristotle), and an online panel of voters provided by CINT. The survey was offered in English. 

All questions asked in this survey with exact wording, along with full results, demographics, and cross tabulations can be found under Full Results. This survey was funded by Emerson College.