By Chris Katje
About a year-and-a-half before Election Day 2024, the political landscape continues to be a bit of a mystery, with only two major candidates announcing their White House runs. A new poll shows the race remains close between three potential front-runners.
Former President Donald Trump became the first of three expected front-runners for the 2024 presidential election to officially announce he was running for office again.
Recently, Nikki Haley also announced plans to run for the GOP nomination, setting up a potential Republican showdown between Trump, Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
A new poll from NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist shows support for President Joe Biden growing among Democrat voters and Republicans wanting someone other than Donald Trump to be the nominee.
When asked if the Democrats have a better chance of winning in 2024 with Biden as the nominee, 50% of those polled who identify as Democrat-leaning said yes. The option for someone else to be the Democratic nominee was selected by 45% of Democrats.
The results of the poll have flipped since November 2022, when 54% of Democrats wanted someone else to be the party’s nominee for the best chance to win the 2024 election compared to 38% who selected Biden.
Republican-leaning respondents polled were asked if they thought the party had the best chance to win the 2024 presidential election with Trump as the nominee or someone else. Of those polled, 42% said the Republicans had the best chance of winning if Trump was nominated.
In a recent poll, 52% of voters surveyed that they were “very uncomfortable” with Trump compared to 48% of voters that were “very uncomfortable” with Biden, according to NBC News.
“When you have half of the country, for either one of them, essentially saying they’re very uncomfortable with potentially the leading candidates for both parties, that tells you a lot about how Americans are viewing our leaders or potential leaders,” said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, who conducted the survey with GOP pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies.
Early campaigning on the trail, Trump made a stop at East Palestine, Ohio where the sight of the Feb. 3 train derailment occurred including the spill of the hazardous chemical, according to Yahoo News.
“They were intending to do absolutely nothing for you,” Trump said.
Trump blamed Biden for the lack of oversight in the train derailment.
The majority, at 54%, chose the option of having someone else as the GOP nominee for the best chance to win the 2024 election.
The poll is in line with results from November 2022 that saw 54% of those polled stating that Trump gave the party the best chance of winning in 2024. Trump’s 42% vote of confidence is higher than the 35% he received in November for the same question.
“The midterm elections are barely in our rearview mirror, and the jockeying for position in the 2024 presidential cycle has begun. Although for the Democrats, President Biden has improved his pole position,” Marist institute for Public Opinion Director Lee M. Miringoff said.
While Biden has not officially announced his intention to seek re-election in the 2024 election, it is widely expected.
Outside of Biden, Democratic voters are most familiar with current Vice President Kamala Harris.
Harris has a 63% favorable opinion in the poll, compared to 21% having an unfavorable opinion and 16% unsure of their opinion or never have heard of her.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg gets a favorability rating of 63% from Democratic voters compared to 12% having an unfavorable opinion and 25% unsure of their opinion or not familiar with him.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has a 42% favorable rating and 9% unfavorable rating. The near majority at 49% have not heard of Whitmer or are unsure how to rate her ahead of a potential presidential run.
On the Republican side, Florida’s DeSantis scores high with voters. DeSantis has a favorability rating of 66% compared to an 11% unfavorable rating and 23% who are unsure of or not familiar with the governor. These results are in line with scores in July 2022.
DeSantis intensified his bid that included over 7-figure checks in his soft launch in late-February from top-GOP donors, according to CNN.
“We’re going to sell some books. We’re going to spread the message of Florida. And then on March 8, I have our legislative session that’s kicking off,” DeSantis said. “As we get beyond that, then we decide from there.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence has a 51% favorability rating and 30% unfavorable rating, along with 19% of Republican voters unsure of their opinion or unfamiliar with Pence. The former vice president had a 59% favorable rating in July 2022.
Haley, who recently announced her presidential run, scores a favorability rating of 41% and an unfavorable rating of 12%. Forty-six percent of respondents were unfamiliar with the former South Carolina governor her or unsure of their rating.
The former South Carolina governor has pointed out her heritage as a way to connect with diverse voters, something is often used in Democratic primaries, according to The Hill.
“I was the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. Not Black, not white. I was different,” Haley, born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa to Sikh immigrants, said in her video. “My mom would always say, ‘Your job is not to focus on the differences but the similarities.’ “
The improvement in support for Biden comes after his State of the Union address earlier this month.
Biden’s approval rating in the poll comes in at 46% overall, higher than the 43% reported last month and the president’s highest approval rating since March 2022.
Biden’s approval rating is 86% among Democrats, 36% among Independent voters and 15% among Republican voters.
Until another candidate emerges, Biden is likely to see strong support, and it could grow as time goes on, and the 2024 election gets closer without a major challenger.
Trump’s favorability rating among Republican voters hit its lowest point since his presidency in the fall of 2016 in the latest poll. Among Republican voters, Trump has a favorability rating of 68%, down from 79% in November.
“A majority of Republicans would prefer to turn the page on Trump, but a potentially crowded field could ultimately benefit the former president,” Miringoff said.
Trump won in a field of over 15 candidates in the 2016 GOP primary where he would defeat former First Lady & Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The battle for Republican voters between Trump and DeSantis as options saw DeSantis holding a 48% to 43% lead. Polls with three or more candidates showed Trump in the lead, with 41% to 37% of the vote.
Haley entering the mix makes three likely leading candidates for the GOP side and could sway the primary contest in Trump’s favor.
The latest poll shows that DeSantis is more well-liked among Republican-leaning independents, which could be a change of pace.
Produced in association with Benzinga.
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