Washington DC at Night, with a view of the Lincoln and Washington Monuments and the Capitol. Credit: Getty Images

UMass Amherst Poll Results Provide Early Look at 2024 Presidential Primaries, Gauge Views on Issues Facing America

Recent results from a nationwide University of Massachusetts Amherst Poll provided insights into a number of issues facing the American public, including the possible candidates who will appear on the presidential ballot in 2024.

The poll of 1,000 respondents conducted Jan. 5-9 found President Joe Biden’s approval rating on the rise as he holds a strong lead over potential Democratic challengers for the 2024 presidential nomination. Among Republicans, the poll found a potential neck-and-neck battle for the nomination between former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Regardless of who squares off for the nation’s top office, a majority of those surveyed responded that they would prefer an age limit applied to the commander-in-chief, with an average age of 67 given as the upper limit for presidents.

How Old is Too Old?


Average age that respondents over age 55 feel should be the limit for a president


Average age that respondents aged 30-54 feel should be the limit for a president


Average age that respondents aged 18-29 feel should be the limit for a president

The poll also gauged respondents’ views on issues including race, antisemitism and the ‘Great Replacement Theory,’ as well as the legacy of the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The poll once again generated hundreds of media hits across the country, with the results reported and poll director Tatishe Nteta and co-directors Ray La Raja, Jesse Rhodes and Alex Theodoridis quoted and interviewed by dozens of local and national outlets, including CSPAN, Salon, Politico, The Hill, MarketWatch, Boston.com and WBUR.

The White House - Credit: Getty Images

While the 80-year-old president sees a net 10-point positive swing in approval since May and remains the Democrats’ front-runner for 2024, six in 10 respondents support setting an age limit for presidents.

A waving banner with the GOP elephant logo - via Getty Images

In a one-on-one matchup, the Florida governor has gained ground on the former president to pull into a dead heat among Republicans in the new national poll.

The U.S. Capitol Building

While more than half (55%) of the 1,000 respondents say Jan. 6 was a “riot,” nearly half (49%) now say that “protest” best describes the day’s events, up from 43% in the first UMass Poll conducted on the topic in April 2021. Meanwhile, there was a marked decrease in the percentage of respondents who consider Jan. 6 an “insurrection,” from 48% to 41%.