With the primaries and state caucuses underway, the 2024 presidential election is heating up. Recent insights available in the latest edition of the 2024 Election Mindset Tracker show how American consumers are responding to the political race, as well as to changes happening socially and economically. Here are key highlights from this month’s report:

More Americans are following political news.

The percentage of Americans following politics has been on a decline since 2020. But that’s showing signs of turning around as the election year gets going. Attention to political news among U.S. adults increased in January, a likely result of the presidential primaries earlier this month in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The Institutional Trust Index (ITI) ticked down slightly among all groups in January, particularly Republicans. The ITI measures collective trust in politicians, as well as banks, media, major companies, hospitals, and police.


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Taxes are becoming a hot-button economic issue, especially for Republicans.

Americans continue to view inflation as the most important economic issue of the presidential race, but taxes saw the largest change in concern since last month, up 1.9 percentage points.

Additional data show Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats to be concerned about inflation, taxes, and the federal budget deficit. Democrats are more likely to be concerned about income inequality, unemployment, and labor rights. (Get the details in the latest edition of the Election Mindset Tracker.)

Feelings about the economy will undoubtedly be important this election cycle, and several components of the Penta-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) are strongly associated with how people plan to vote for president. As of January, the Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) is up on a year-over-year basis among all groups except Republicans. An in-depth look at the role of economic sentiment in the 2024 presidential election is available in this month’s Election Mindset Tracker, in addition to a wide range of other insights.

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