Poll shows tight general election battle between Trump and top Democrats

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE is running neck-and-neck with the top 2020 Democrats angling to challenge him, setting up a tight race in November, according to a survey released Thursday evening.

The Emerson College poll shows Trump within the margin of error in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups against Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's Groups push lawmakers to use defense bill to end support for Saudis in Yemen civil war Congress must address the looming debt crisis MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats confront 'Rubik's cube on steroids' The Trojan Horse of protectionism Federal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review MORE (D-Mass.), former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse clears bill to provide veterans with cost-of-living adjustment On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default To reduce poverty, stop burdening the poor: What Joe Manchin gets wrong about the child tax credit MORE and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Blumenthal calls on Buttigieg to investigate American Airlines-JetBlue partnership LGBT film festival to premiere documentary about Pete Buttigieg MORE (D). 

Sanders is the only 2020 Democrat with a slight edge over Trump in the survey, leading him 51 percent to 49 percent among registered voters. Both Biden and Warren are locked in 50-50 ties with the president, while Buttigieg trails Trump by a 51 to 49 percent margin. The poll’s margin of error is 2.8 percentage points.

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The latest survey shows only nominal differences from the same poll in December, which had Biden and Sanders leading Trump 52 percent to 48 percent, Warren leading 51 to 49 percent and Buttigieg and the president tied at 50-50.

Trump’s approval rating is essentially running even, with 47 percent of registered voters saying they approve of the job he’s doing and 48 percent saying they disapprove. However, the president is slightly underwater with independents, with 44 percent approving of his performance and 49 percent disapproving. 

Thirty-six percent of voters said the most important issue they consider when deciding who to vote for is the economy, followed by health care at 16 percent and social issues at 13 percent. Only 8 percent said impeachment was the most important issue for them. 

The Emerson College poll surveyed 1,128 registered voters from Jan. 21 to 23.