Pew poll: Biden more honest, better role model, but Trump more courageous

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The headline figures for the poll put Biden on 54%; Trump on 44%.

Former vice president Joe Biden (Left) and US President Donald Trump (Right) (photo credit: WHITE HOUSE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Former vice president Joe Biden (Left) and US President Donald Trump (Right)


Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is seen as more honest, more even-tempered, and a better role model than US President Donald Trump by American voters, but more voters see the President as energetic and courageous, a Pew Research Center poll has found.

With just five months to go until the 2020 Presidential elections, the two leading candidates are looking for every advantage they can get over their opponent in the race for the White House. The latest Pew poll will be welcome reading for Biden, as the survey found that voters favored him in four of six personality traits – the results of which are a study in opposites.

Biden gained his most positive rating for evenness of temperament, with an overall positive rating of 60%, while only 25% of voters thought that Trump was ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ even-tempered. Biden also scored well on being considered a good role model – 46% of those polled thought he was a very or somewhat good role model, compared to 31% who thought the same of Trump, giving Biden a 15 point advantage on that metric.

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Both candidates scored better when it came to whether voters thought they genuinely cared about the needs of ordinary people – 54% said that they believed Biden did, against 41% who agreed that Trump did, a 13 point differential.

And Biden was also seen as more honest: 48% of those polled said they thought he was very or somewhat honest, against 36% who thought that Trump was.

But Trump was seen as a more courageous leader: 46% of those polled thought that this description matched him very or somewhat well, against 45% who said the same of Biden.

Trump’s strongest personality metric, however, was that he is seen as energetic – 56% of those surveyed said they saw Trump as very or somewhat energetic, while 40% said the same of Biden.

Trump’s perceived dynamism could explain why fewer voters see Trump as an ‘average’ president, than envisioned Biden’s leadership that way. Trump deeply divided the crowd on this issue: 42% of those polled said they thought Trump had been a “terrible” president, but conversely 19% said he had been “great.” Only 9% rated him “average.”

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By contrast, 28% of those polled said they thought Biden would be a terrible president, against just 6% who said he would be great, but a greater percentage – 29% – said they thought he would be average.

The poll, conducted June 16-22 among 4,708 adults, including 3,577 registered voters, found overall headline figures of 54% of registered voters who said that if the election were held today, they would vote for Biden or lean toward voting for him, putting him ten points ahead of Trump, who was backed by 44%.

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