When it comes to the 2024 presidential election, Republicans are far more enthusiastic about former President Trump running again than Democrats are about President Biden gaining a second term, new data from the December I&I/TIPP Poll show. It’s yet another sign that, a mere 11 months into his term, Biden’s support remains surprisingly weak within his own party.
The I&I/TIPP Poll gave respondents the names of Trump and 15 other possible Republican candidates, asking “Who do you want to see run for president on the Republican ticket in 2024?” We asked the same question for the Democrats. We wrote about those results last week here and here.
In our poll, 24% of those queried in whatever party said they wanted President Trump to run again, while 22% said they wanted Biden to do so.
But the apparent closeness of the support for the two possible candidates may be deceptive. A closer look at the data shows a wide disparity in actual support for the two candidates within their own parties.
As the poll numbers clearly show, Trump’s support within the Republican Party is far stronger than Biden’s within the Democratic Party. Among Republicans, 60% said they wanted Trump to run again for president in 2024. In contrast, just 37% of Democrats wanted Biden to run again in three years, a devastating sign of Biden’s weakening support within his own party.
Among independents, 17% express support for a Trump run in 2024, compared to just 8% for Biden, a worrisome data point for Democrats hoping to attract swing voters in coming elections.
All these data come from December’s I&I/TIPP Poll of 1,013 registered voters. The poll was conducted online from Dec. 1-4 by TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, I&I’s polling partner, with a margin of error of +/-3.2 percentage points.
One significant factor jumps out from the Trump data: None of the 15 other potential Trump challengers listed had double-digit support, so Trump has a large early edge for 2024. Former Vice President Mike Pence got closest, with 8% support, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (6%), and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley (5%), Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (3%), and New York Rep. Elise Stefanik and Florida Sen. Marco (both at 2%).
They were followed by Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Florida Sen. Rick Scott, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, all at 1%. “Other” received 8%, while “not sure” got 29%.
Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Biden’s own vice president, Kamala Harris garners 12% of overall support for a 2024 candidacy.
It’s unclear whether that’s because many voters assume the 79-year-old Biden, who turns 82 in 2024, won’t run again due to his age, or because of the current unpopularity of many of Biden’s signature policies, ranging from record spending on “Build Back Better” and a surge in illegal immigration, to COVID-19 lockdowns and the recent sharp jump in inflation to a 40-year high.
Which raises a question: Given all this, why are Trump and Biden, at 24% and 22% support respectively, so close in the overall tally? If Trump’s support among Republicans is so much stronger, why isn’t he farther ahead of Biden?
One big factor in Biden’s favor: race.
Trump gets 10% support from Black voters and 14% from Hispanic voters, I&I/TIPP data show, while Biden pulls 25% of the Black vote and 27% of the Hispanic vote. That’s a significant gap, though there are signs in many recent polls of a strong rightward shift in political leanings among Hispanic voters, who in 2020 for the first time surpassed 10% of the total vote.
But another important factor may be acting in Trump’s favor: Geography. While Trump might be the quintessential big city businessman, he’s far more popular in the suburbs and rural areas than in the big cities.
In heavily urban areas, just 17% say they want Trump to run in 2024, versus 28% for Joe Biden. But as the data move into the suburbs and beyond, that picture changes: Trump gets 24% of the suburban vote and 37% of the rural vote, compared to Biden’s 19% and 16%, respectively.
Overall, registered voters know Trump well, given his four years as president. Whether they like his sometimes abrasive personality and “tweet storms” or not, many did like his policies. The same can’t be said for Biden, who seems to be falling behind Trump in national polls.
I&I/TIPP will continue to provide timely and informative data from our monthly polls on this topic and on others of interest in the coming weeks and months. TIPP has distinguished itself by being the most accurate pollster for the past five presidential elections.
Terry Jones is an editor of Issues & Insights. His four decades of journalism experience include serving as national issues editor, economics editor and editorial page editor for Investor’s Business Daily.