With the 2024 U.S. Presidential Election still 2 1/2 years away, a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll released yesterday found troubling news for Democrats. Their survey shows former President Donald Trump defeating President Biden in a hypothetical 2024 match-up.
Trump – 47 percent
Biden – 41 percent
Undecided – 12 percent
Interestingly, Trump’s 47 percent tally is almost identical to the 46.9 percent of the vote he captured in the 2020 election and within a point of his 46.1 percent tally in 2016.
The poll, like the previous Biden vs Trump 2024 surveys, seems to suggest Trump has gained no additional support since Biden took office and just a percentage point since the former was elected in 2016.
Despite Biden’s slump, Trump remains relatively unpopular. The ex-president falls well short of 50 percent in hypothetical match-ups and failed to reach a 50 percent approval rating by any reputable pollster during his four years in office.
And, of course, he mightily lost the popular vote in the last two presidential elections. However, due to his large, unwavering base, it’s a given Trump will likely receive support from at least 45 to 47.5 percent of voters should he win the Republican presidential nomination. In that regard, the recent poll numbers aren’t surprising.
Biden received 51.3 percent of the popular vote in the 2020 election and, for a short time after his inauguration, boasted a 55 percent approval rating average from an aggregate of top pollsters.
Takeaway: Trump’s support is more solid and consistent but he peaks at only 46-48 percent. Biden, having far greater potential, peaks in the mid-50s BUT his supporters aren’t as committed.
Biden, if he continues at this rate, will likely run into the same problems Hillary Clinton encountered when she ran against Trump in 2016. In that election, 54 percent of the voting electorate voted against Trump. However, because the anti-Trump vote was split between Hillary and obscure candidates, such as the Green Party’s Jill Stein, the former lost several closely-contested must-win states and ultimately the election.
Support for third-party candidates plummeted in the 2020 election because Biden won the lion’s share of anti-Trump voters who previously soured on Hillary in 2016, voting against both mainstream candidates in protest.
It’s that simple.
Trump’s supporters are far outnumbered by his opposers but if opposition voters remain so split in their support of Biden, Trump could win in 2024 with less than 45 percent of the popular vote.