WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s the presidential election no one is really jazzed about.
Relatively few Americans are excited about a potential rematch of the 2020 election between President Joe Biden and Donald Trump, although more Republicans would be satisfied to have Trump as their nominee than Democrats would be with Biden as their standard-bearer, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
That palpable apathy from voters comes even as both Biden and Trump are facing relatively few obstacles in their paths to lock down their respective parties’ nominations next year. Biden has amassed broad support from Democratic officials as a handful of mostly token primary challengers have struggled to spark momentum. And despite 91 indictments across four criminal cases — including some centered on his attempts to overturn his electoral loss to Biden in 2020 — Trump’s grip on GOP primary voters shows no signs of loosening a month before the first nominating contest in Iowa.
“Probably the best way to put it is, I find it sad for our country that that’s our best choices,” said Randy Johnson, 64, from Monett, Missouri. Johnson, who is a Republican, said he wishes there were a third legitimate option for president but that the political system does not make that viable and added: “We’re down to the lesser of two evils.”
Andrew Collins, 35, an independent from Windham, Maine, said: “This is probably the most uniquely horrible choice I’ve had in my life.”
About half of Democrats say they would be very or somewhat satisfied if Biden becomes the party’s 2024 nominee. About one-third of Democrats would be dissatisfied, and about 1 in 5 would be “neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.” When it comes to the Republican Party nomination, enthusiasm is higher for GOP front-runner Donald Trump. Two-thirds of Republicans would be satisfied with Trump as the Republican nominee for 2024. About one-quarter would be dissatisfied, and 9% would be neutral.
Looking at U.S. adults broadly — setting aside party affiliations — there’s still not much enthusiasm for a Biden-Trump rematch.
Most U.S. adults overall (56%) would be “very” or “somewhat” dissatisfied with Biden as the Democratic presidential nominee in 2024, and a similar majority (58%) would be very or somewhat dissatisfied with Trump as the GOP’s pick. Nearly 3 in 10 U.S. adults, or 28%, say they would be dissatisfied with both Trump and Biden becoming their party’s respective nominees – with independents (43%) being more likely than Democrats (28%) or Republicans (20%) to express their displeasure with both men gaining party nominations.
Among Democrats and Republicans alike, having a candidate who can win is given slightly more importance than having a candidate whose views represent most people in the party or even themselves, according to the AP-NORC poll.
Only about 3 in 10 Democrats are “extremely” or “very” confident that the Democratic Party’s process will result in nominating a candidate who can win the general election in November. About half are somewhat confident, and 18% are not very confident or not at all confident. While relatively few are highly confident they’ll get a winning nominee out of the process, three-quarters of Democrats say it’s “extremely” or “very” important that the party’s process for nominating a presidential candidate does result in a candidate who can win the general election.
Meanwhile, one-third of Republicans are extremely or very confident that the Republican Party’s process for nominating a presidential candidate will result in someone who can win the general election. Slightly fewer than half, or 46%, are somewhat confident, and 2 in 10 are not very or not at all confident. Seven in 10 Republicans say it’s extremely or very important that their process results in a nominee who can win in 2024.
The poll shows neither man is viewed favorably by a majority of the U.S. public, with only 42% saying they have a favorable view of Biden and 36% saying the same of Trump.
Both are generally viewed favorably within their own party: About three-quarters of Democrats have a favorable view of Biden and about 7 in 10 Republicans have a favorable view of Trump. But Republicans are more likely to say their view of Trump is strongly favorable than Democrats are to say the same of Biden, 46% vs 34%. Democrats are more likely than Republicans are to say they have only a somewhat favorable view of their party’s 2024 frontrunner, 44% vs 24%.