The cost of living defines the 2024 presidential election, with voters in battleground states favoring former President Donald Trump and prioritizing the economy over abortion — Democrat President Joe Biden’s top campaign issue — a new survey found.

The Swing State Project report released on Friday, a collaboration between the Cook Political Report, GS Strategy Group (a Republican polling firm), and BSG (a Democratic polling firm), found that the state of the economy ultimately outweighs the nation’s shifting abortion landscape going into November. The project surveyed 3,969 voters in seven battleground states from May 6 to May 13.

“Right now, this election is about President Biden’s economic record and America’s economic future,” said GS Strategies President Greg Strimple. “When it comes to who voters trust to move the economy forward, Trump is in the driver’s seat.”

The survey found that while abortion is still a galvanizing issue for Democrats, “Biden’s advantage on the issue isn’t strong enough to offset Trump’s overall strength on bringing down the cost of living.”

President Joe Biden (Susan Walsh/AP)

“Voters clearly recognize the huge steps backward a Trump presidency might bring – they are pessimistic about what he could do to abortion rights, progress on climate change, and even failing to protect Medicare and Social Security,”  Lindsay Vermeyen, partner at BSG, said. “And yet, their economic frustrations are enough to override all that.”

When voters were questioned about which worried them more, Biden setting economic policy, or Trump setting abortion policy, 55 percent say they are more concerned about Biden’s handling of the economy than Trump’s potential abortion policies (45 percent). Democrats and college-educated women were the only demographic groups who are more concerned about Trump’s abortion policies than Biden’s economic policies, the survey found.

Battleground state voters are also more concerned about Biden setting immigration policy (53 percent) than Trump setting abortion policy (47 percent).

These results come even though a majority of voters (55 percent) believe it is at least somewhat likely that Trump could restrict abortion on a federal level — despite his belief that the issue should be left to the states.

“In other words, these voters aren’t naive about the risks to reproductive access, but many view rising costs as an overriding concern,” according to the survey report.

Among all respondents, 73 percent list inflation/cost of living as one of their top three issues, while 52 percent say immigration/border security. Just 35 percent say the same of abortion/reproductive rights. Notably, abortion even ranked third for women participants (73 percent inflation, 48 percent immigration, and 42 percent abortion). Abortion ranks fourth among independent voters, the survey found.

The survey report notes that while swing state voters trust Biden more on abortion by 14 points, Trump’s advantage over Biden on inflation and immigration is “twice as large.”

“The degree to which the cost of living is the biggest pain point for voters today cannot be overstated,” BSG Partner Patrick Toomey said.

Voters largely mark a strong economy by the cost of living over other factors (54 percent), and 51 percent of voters say inflation is the “worst/weakest” part of the economy right now. Voters are blaming Biden (59 percent) for rising costs and inflation, which “helps explain why Biden’s approval rating on the economy is deeply underwater at -20 (40 percent approve to 60 percent disapprove), the survey report notes.

At the same time, 62 percent of respondents approve of how Trump handled the economy when he was president.

Former US President Donald Trump during a campaign rally at the Schnecksville Fire Hall in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, April 13, 2024. (Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty)

“More ominously for Biden, 78 percent think it’s likely inflation will continue to be an issue during a second Biden term, and only 40 percent think he would be able to bring down the cost of goods,” the survey report states. “Voters are much more optimistic about Trump’s ability to bring down prices, with 56 percent saying that they think that Trump will be able to get the cost of living under control if he were elected to a second term.”

The survey found that in the seven swing states combined — Wisconsin, North Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — Trump leads Biden in a head-to-head match-up 47 percent to 44 percent.

By individual swing states, Trump leads Biden in every single one but Wisconsin, where they are tied at 45 percent each.

“Trump’s leads in North Carolina (+7) and Nevada (+9) are the most robust. His leads in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania are much narrower, between one and three points. In 2020, Biden won every one of these states except North Carolina,” the report notes.

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on X @thekat_hamilton.