NEW POLL: Parents Set the Agenda for 2024 Presidential Campaign

  • Parents rank the economy & education as two most important issues in the upcoming election 
  • President Biden loses head-to-head matchup against generic GOP candidate with many independents still up for grabs
  • Voters trust Democrats slightly more on education but Republicans hold a slim edge when it comes to the economy
  • 82% of parents want the government to set a national goal for all public school students to be able to read at grade level by the time they are in third grade. 


November 16, 2023– Boston, MA– The economy and education are the two most important issues that parents, who have rapidly become one of America’s most sought after voting blocs, will consider when deciding which candidate to support in the 2024 presidential election, according to a new poll released today by the National Parents Union. The survey also shows these parents (registered voters) trust Republicans more than Democrats on the economy (43% vs. 40%) but they trust Democrats more on education (45% vs. 37%).


  • Among Hispanic parents, 41% trust the GOP on the economy compared to 39% that trust Democrats. On education, 44% trust Democrats and 35% trust Republicans.  
  • Among Black parents, 54% trust Democrats on the economy and 22% trust Republicans. On education, 60% trust Democrats and 17% trust Republicans. On both issues, nearly a quarter (24%/23%) are undecided on which party they trust.


In a head-to-head matchup, President Biden trails the Republican Party candidate 38% to 35%, with 12% supporting a third-party candidate. Fifteen percent are undecided on who they’d vote for, including nearly a third (32%) of independents.

“Democrats need to earn the vote of parents and this survey proves they cannot take anything for granted,” said Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and President of the National Parents Union. “The time has come for Democrats to listen closely to the deep concerns of American families who are struggling to make ends meet and wondering whether our children are going to make it. President Biden must outline a vision on education that goes beyond painting the other party as extreme. He needs to take a proactive approach to tackling our toughest challenges. We’ve waited for three years to hear how he will tackle this, and instead of handing us more bitter pills to swallow, we want to see a choice worth choosing.”

The poll found that President Biden’s top surrogate on education issues, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, remains a bit of a mystery to parents and he has an opportunity to be more responsive to their top concerns on issues including, creating safer schools that are free from gun violence and political crossfire, guaranteeing every child in America the right to read, preparing our children with a pathway to economic mobility, and giving our children new and innovative options and access to technology to prepare them for the future.

Overall, 36% of parents approve of Cardona’s handling of the job, 29% disapprove, and more than a third of all parents (34%) don’t have an opinion of him. Furthermore, only 21% of parents feel like their concerns about education are being heard by leaders within the federal government. 

One area that parents overwhelmingly agree should be a priority for Secretary Cardona and the Biden Administration is a focus on reading. More than eight-in-ten (82%) want the government to set a national goal for all public school students to be able to read at grade level by the time they are in third grade. Nearly all parents (93%) say it’s important that their children’s public school provide pathway plans for a variety of college and career opportunities.

Rodrigues added, “Secretary Cardona has a real opportunity to build much-needed trust with families by focusing on the pressing issues that matter most to parents, starting with the right to read. Given where 4th grade reading scores currently stand, a goal to have all students reading at grade level by 3rd grade is not just aspirational, it’s critical. As a nation, we can unify around that rallying cry as our childrens’ futures are at stake.”

When it comes to fixing what’s wrong with public education, 66% of parents want policymakers to work together to find bipartisan education policy solutions, even if it means compromising with people they disagree with. Only 24% want policymakers to stand firm about the education policies they think are right and refuse to compromise, even if it means not finding bipartisan solutions.

National Parents Union Survey

N=1,527 parents of public school students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade
Sample from online web panels
Field Dates: November 1-5, 2023
Margin of sampling error: ± 3.0 percentage points
Click here for toplines.


With more than 1,000 affiliated parent organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, the National Parents Union is the united, independent voice of modern American families. We channel the power of parents into powerful policies that improve the lives of children, families and communities across the United States.