GOP Shows More Enthusiasm for Trump Than Dems Do for Biden in AP Poll

There is a lack of enthusiasm among many Americans regarding a possible rematch of the 2020 presidential election in November. However, it seems that presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump generates more anger and fear among Democrats than President Joe Biden does among Republicans.

A recent poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research reveals that Democrats are more likely to feel “fearful” or “angry” about the possibility of another Trump term compared to Republicans’ feelings about Biden staying in the White House.

The intense emotions Trump elicits may work in his favor, as the poll also shows that Republicans are more excited about the idea of Trump winning than Democrats are about a Biden victory.

Seven out of 10 Democrats state that they would feel “angry” or “fearful” extremely well or very well if Trump were to win. A smaller majority of Republicans, 56%, feel the same about a Biden victory. Approximately 6 out of 10 Democrats experience both anger and fear when considering a Trump victory, surpassing the approximately 4 out of 10 Republicans who would feel both angry and scared about Biden winning.

These findings are significant in a unique campaign where an incumbent president is running against his predecessor, with both facing skepticism within their own parties and among independents. Winning over Republicans who supported Nikki Haley in the GOP primary could be a challenge for Trump, while Biden faces discontent among progressives and concerns about his age of 81 being a potential liability in the role.

The level of excitement surrounding the two candidates will be crucial in a race where turnout from each party’s base will be essential. Dislike can also serve as a motivating factor for voters.

“If there was a third-party candidate with a chance, I would vote for them,” said 26-year-old Democrat Austin Healey, who describes himself as “very liberal.” Despite his mixed feelings about Biden, Healey prioritizes preventing what he perceives as Trump’s effort to undermine democracy and will, therefore, vote for Biden, albeit without much excitement.

Michigan voter Derrick Johnson, a liberal independent, expresses various criticisms of Biden but ultimately emphasizes his fear of Trump potentially leading the country into a catastrophic global conflict. His bottom line is “anybody but Trump.”

Democrats’ strong emotions regarding Trump contribute to the overall differences in how Americans view the two candidates. Around 4 out of 10 U.S. adults state that they would feel “fearful” extremely or very well if Trump were to be reelected, while about 3 out of 10 share the same fear regarding a potential second term for Biden. Approximately 4 out of 10 U.S. adults indicate they would be angered by a Trump victory in November, compared to 28% feeling the same about Biden.

Given Biden’s weaknesses and the fact that Republicans are more excited about another Trump term compared to Democrats’ enthusiasm for Biden’s reelection, negative emotions play a crucial role in shaping the voters’ choices. More than half of Republicans, 54%, express extreme or very well feelings of excitement about another Trump term, whereas just 4 out of 10 Democrats share the same level of excitement for Biden.

Republican John Novak from swing-state Wisconsin acknowledges Trump’s flaws but appreciates his conservative actions and agenda. Novak, a 54-year-old maintenance worker, emphasizes Trump’s influence on key issues like the economy and immigration, commending his conservative stances.

The most recent AP-NORC poll reports Biden’s overall approval rating at 38%. Discontent with his economic and immigration policies is evident among U.S. adults, with about 4 out of 10 individuals approving of his economic stewardship, similar to his overall job approval rating.

Specifically, around 3 out of 10 Democrats disapprove of Biden’s economic policies, while about 4 out of 10 express disapproval of his approach to immigration and border security.

Concerns regarding border control are raised by Michigan liberal Johnson, who highlights the escalating situation at the border as a major issue of contention.

Biden and his campaign emphasize legislative accomplishments such as infrastructure improvement, economic growth, and initiatives targeting climate change. However, they are critical of Trump, accusing him of seeking revenge and retribution for his defeat and ongoing legal challenges.

Trump, on the other hand, continues to attack Biden’s mental acuity and fitness for the presidency, utilizing personal jabs and mockery. Despite these efforts, the poll results suggest that Trump has not maximized the benefits of these attacks, or they may have limited impact.

Biden often responds humorously by urging people to compare him not to perfection but to the alternative, reflecting reluctant Democrats’ and some independents’ sentiments.

Neil Murray, a 67-year-old retiree in Jonesboro, Arkansas, who identifies as an independent, voted for Trump in 2016 to shake up Washington but eventually turned to Biden in 2020 due to his disillusionment with Trump’s leadership. While critical of Biden in some aspects, Murray expresses no hesitation in supporting him over Trump, whom he describes as a “screaming lunatic.”

The poll, conducted from March 21-25, 2024, surveyed 1,282 adults using NORC’s AmeriSpeak Panel. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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