MEMO: POLL: Post Super Tuesday, Democrats Must Emphasize Trump’s Record

TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Lori Lodes, Climate Power Executive Director

DATE: March 2024

RE: POLL: Post Super Tuesday, Democrats Must Emphasize Trump’s Record

For journalists, Washington insiders, and all of us who live and breathe the minutiae of campaigns and elections, the 2024 election has been underway for quite some time. But many everyday Americans — who are juggling work, school, and family — are only just tuning in to the presidential election. 

In fact, battleground state polling conducted for Climate Power by Hart Research at the end of January finds that only 4 in 10 voters definitely believe Donald Trump will be the GOP’s nominee for president and indicates they may have forgotten much of his record. 

Today, with Super Tuesday behind us, the general election campaign now begins in earnest. With a rematch between President Biden and Donald Trump all but certain, voters will now be faced with the reality of what it would mean to have Trump as president again. 

Climate Power’s polling finds that when voters are reminded about Donald Trump’s climate record and fully informed about President Biden’s accomplishments, President Biden leads by 5 points. President Biden has the upper hand with an informed electorate – and it’s critical we do the work of reminding voters about their records from now until November. That’s how Democrats will win. 

Voter Recollection Of Trump

According to FiveThirtyEight tracker on January 20, 2021, Trump’s last day in office, his average approval was at 38.6 percent. There are important reasons why Trump left office with such low support, including, but not limited to, his incitement of the attack on the U.S. Capitol and his failed handling of COVID. Voters disapproved of Trump’s climate denial and his refusal to act on the climate crisis. They disliked his tax giveaway that gave 70 percent of the benefits to the top 1 percent. They opposed his efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no plan to replace it. 

Climate Power’s polling shows likely voters giving Trump’s presidency a 52 percent approval rate. Our polling also indicates that many voters do not remember the variety of ways that Trump failed them, but that reminding voters of why they disliked Trump in the first place has a major impact on their willingness to elect him again.

With only 4 in 10 voters believing Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president, it becomes even clearer that the electorate is not yet tuned in to the race. Many voters have not been paying attention and appear to have forgotten about Trump’s record in office as they’ve gone about their lives over the course of the last three years. This distance has led to the improvement in Trump’s job approval rating and clear evidence that Trump’s record is not yet salient and voters must be reminded of his record on key issues. 

How We Win: Contrast Records

Climate Power’s current research shows that contrasting Trump with Biden on their records is key to a Democratic path to victory. When President Biden’s climate accomplishments are contrasted with Trump’s record, there is significant movement in his favor—including with key voter constituencies like young and Latino voters and Independents. Biden’s climate and clean energy accomplishments serve as proof points to voters that he is getting things done and we see significant movement towards him. 

The top testing message on climate and clean energy was to contrast Biden passing the most ambitious climate plan in history which will cut approximately 1 billion tons of carbon pollution by 2030, with Trump’s record of eliminating or weakening protections against carbon pollution, making air pollution worse. 

In this comparison, voters sided with Biden 54% – 31%. Given the partisan nature of the electorate and the fact that the candidates were named in the messages, this is a particularly notable result.

When exposed to messaging about both Biden and Trump’s records on climate and clean energy, voters overwhelmingly agree with Biden. 

Persuadable voters need to hear about the two candidates’ records. When they do, they are more likely to support President Biden’s re-election. 

Conclusion: Reminding Voters of Trump’s Record on Climate is Key to a Biden Victory

After hearing the contrast in Biden and Trump’s records on climate and clean energy, the movement in Biden’s favor is significant across every demographic. This demonstrates the critical importance of contrast messaging that looks back at historical records. It is also further evidence that Trump’s numbers are soft and changeable and voters remain open to information both about Biden’s accomplishments and Trump’s failures. When they take in these facts, it moves the vote significantly.

As we head into a solidified general election where many voters will be newly facing the reality of a Biden vs. Trump rematch, it is imperative for Democrats to seize the moment to remind voters of Trump’s egregious record on issues they care about. 


Online survey of 2,265 likely 2024 voters in Arizona, Georgia, Minnesota, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Fielded January 23-28, 2024