Battleground Poll: Two Kinds of Democrats Reveal Party Division While Republicans Won’t Move Without Trump 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 24, 2024) – Cygnal, the nation’s fastest growing and most accurate private polling firm, released the following poll (conducted Jan. 16-18) of America’s toughest battleground congressional districts in the 2024 general election. 

“What really stands out in this poll is the impact Donald Trump has on voter propensity in these battleground districts,” said Vice President of Polling, Brock McCleary. “Too much emphasis is put on scenarios where Trump is not the Republican nominee, but our battleground data shows Trump’s absence on the ballot would likely result in lower turnout. In other words, Republicans have more to lose than gain without Trump on the ballot.” 

“Conversely, our segmentation analysis revealed an interesting split among Democratic voters who are more concerned with inflation and those with perceived threats to democracy,” said McCleary. This division poses a significant challenge for battleground Democrats already struggling to convert Biden’s record into gains on the ground.” 

Here are more of McCleary’s top takeaways from this new battleground poll: 

  1. It’s rare to poll a former president against an incumbent: When comparing the job approvals of the former and current presidents (Trump approve 45% vs. Biden approve 37%), Trump’s approval advantage is stark among Independents (approve 40%; disapprove 49%) compared to Biden’s (approve 29%; disapprove 60%) and among suburban voters (Trump: approve 43%; disapprove 49% vs. Biden: approve 37%; disapprove 55%). 
  2. It’s still the economy, stupid: The top issue for battleground voters is inflation (29%), especially among Independents, while Republicans are focused more on border security and Democrats mostly on threats to democracy.  
  3. Battleground voters tend to trust Republicans more on the issues: 
    • Border Security (R trust 53% vs. D trust 26%)  
      •  Independents (R+38); Hispanic voters (R+13); Suburban (R+24). 
    • Crime (R trust 46% vs. D trust 31%)  
      •  Independents (R+22); Hispanic voters (R+11); Suburban (R+16). 
    • Inflation (R trust 45% vs. D trust 36%)  
      • Independents (R+11); Hispanic voters (R+12); Suburban (R+6). 
  4. On abortion: Battleground voters are more likely to see it as a national issue to be addressed by the federal government (national 48% vs. state 40%) with only 34% saying the government should allow fewer abortions. 
  5. Our data found four key voter segments in these battleground districts
    • Independents (13%) are very pessimistic about the direction of the country and view both Biden and Trump very unfavorably. Most have had their financial wellbeing worsen in the past year. They are much more likely to trust Republicans on crime, the border, and inflation. They deviate from Republicans on abortion. They support more abortions by a 2:1 ratio and generally believe abortion should be legal with exceptions.   
    • GOP Base (41%) are staunch Republicans focused on border security first and foremost. 9-in-10 voters in this group views Trump favorably. This is the only segment who supports fewer abortions, highlighting how challenging the issue is for Republicans. 
    • ‘Inflation Democrats’ (22%) tend to be voters earning less than $75k focused primarily on inflation who lean heavily Democrat on the generic ballot.  
    • ‘Threats to Democracy’ Democrats (23%) tend to be higher income earning and to have improved their financial wellbeing more than the ‘Inflation Democrats’ segment.