WASHINGTON, November 15 (Reuters) – Americans are inclined to vote for Democratic President Joe Biden in the general election. 2024 election say they are more motivated to prevent Donald Trump from returning to the Oval Office than to support the outgoing president, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.
The two-day poll, which ended Tuesday, showed Biden and Trump engaged in a tight race, with Republican Trump leading Biden 51% to 49% when respondents were asked to choose between both, within the poll’s credibility interval of about four percent. points.
Biden supporters were more likely than those who supported Trump to say they would vote to prevent the other candidate from winning, a possible indicator of low enthusiasm for Biden as well as deep contempt for Trump among many Democrats .
About 50% of Biden supporters surveyed in the poll described their vote as being “against Donald Trump and his policies,” compared to 38% who said they would vote “to support Joe Biden and his policies.” Twelve percent of Biden supporters said they were unsure which reason best explained their choice.
Among Trump supporters, 40% said they would vote against Biden and 42% said they would vote for Trump to support the Republican and his policies. The remainder – 18% – were unsure which reason applied.
Trump is the front-runner for the Republican nomination against Biden in 2024, although neither has been officially nominated by his party.
Democratic strategists said the poll results reinforce the idea that Biden needs to make an affirmative case for re-election, especially in extremely competitive states like Georgia and North Carolina.
Many Americans remain unfamiliar with Biden’s economic policies, which have led Congress to approve significant new investments in U.S. infrastructure.
“Biden needs to make his economic vision 100 percent clear,” said Michael Ceraso, a Democratic strategist who worked on former President Barack Obama’s election campaigns in 2008 and 2012. “I don’t think you can win the Georgia this election cycle with a simple anti-Trump message.”
Jesse Ferguson, a strategist who worked for Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, said Biden’s team should use data to draw comparisons to Trump rather than simply attack him.
Biden’s campaign declined to comment on the poll results and instead pointed to a Nov. 8 campaign memo that claimed Biden’s agenda had been widely adopted and that Trump was holding back Republicans because of his extremism.
A majority of Americans support Biden’s views in some key national debates, perhaps most critically when it comes to abortion rights, with a September Reuters/Ipsos poll showing Americans prefer Democrats two to one over Republicans on protecting access to abortion.
But Biden’s presidency has nevertheless been defined in part by his own unpopularity, with his the approval rate remained around 40% for much of the past year and a half, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. Inflation has been historically high and many Americans, including many Democrats, have expressed concern about his advancing age. At 80, Biden is already the oldest president to ever occupy the White House.
Trump, 77, emerges as a scarecrow for the American left — and for some conservatives, too — given his history of incendiary remarks against immigrants and women as well as his efforts to overturn his election loss to Biden of 2020.
Many Americans are fed up with Biden and Trump. The new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed significant support for independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr, an anti-vaccine activist and scion of a major political family.
In a hypothetical three-way contest, 30% of respondents chose Biden, 32% chose Trump and 20% chose Kennedy. The rest said they weren’t sure or wouldn’t vote.
The survey was conducted online and gathered responses from 1,006 adults nationwide.
Reporting by Jason Lange and James Oliphant, additional reporting by Nandita Bose; Editing by Scott Malone and Daniel Wallis
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