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Biden and Trump Secure Party Nominations But Face Notably Low Voter Enthusiasm

A new poll shows that less than half of voters overall describe themselves as "enthusiastic" for the 2024 race.

Former President Donald Trump (left) and President Joe Biden have both secured enough delegates each to become the nominees of their parties.

On Tuesday evening, both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump secured enough delegates within the Democratic and Republican primary contests, respectively, to become their parties’ nominee for president.

As of Wednesday morning, Trump had secured 1,247 delegates, far beyond his GOP competitors’ numbers. To become the Republican nominee, a candidate needs to get 1,215 delegates.

On the Democratic side, Biden, who faced no serious challengers but has seen some voters choose “uncommitted” on their ballots as a protest of his policies regarding Israel’s war on Gaza, has obtained 2,101 delegates. To win his party’s nomination, he needed to get 1,968.

Although Biden and Trump were long seen as the likely nominees, both candidates received their “presumptive nominee” status on Tuesday night, following primary and caucus election wins in Georgia, Mississippi, Washington and Hawaii.

In a statement released Tuesday, Biden framed his election bid as a choice between democracy and authoritarianism.

“We face a sobering reality. Freedom and democracy are at risk here at home in a way they have not been since the Civil War,” Biden said, adding that his Republican opponent “is running a campaign of resentment, revenge, and retribution that threatens the very idea of America.”

Trump, meanwhile, shared a statement on his Truth Social account in which he used xenophobic language to describe migrants, doubling down on the harsh immigration rhetoric that has been central to his campaign. He also errantly claimed that dozens of indictment charges against him were politically motivated, and continued to voice his “America First” views for the country, a phrase that has its roots in the fascist movements of the 1930s.

“We will take back our once great Country, put AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” Trump wrote.

This is the first back-to-back presidential election rematch in the U.S. since 1956, and the seventh rematch in the country overall. This is also the second earliest time that voters have selected the presumptive nominees for both of the two major political parties — only in 2000, when Republican candidate George W. Bush and Democratic candidate Al Gore secured their nominations by March 9, have both parties selected their candidates sooner.

The general election, scheduled for November 5, is 34 weeks away.

Notably, despite the speed at which both candidates secured their parties’ respective nods, voters overall aren’t entirely happy with this outcome. According to an Economist/YouGov poll published on Wednesday morning, only 32 percent of Americans want Biden to run, with only 40 percent saying the same of Trump. Fifty-four percent say Biden shouldn’t run, while 50 percent say they don’t want Trump running.

Trump’s numbers in that poll, just slightly better than Biden’s, are buoyed by his ardently loyal Republican base — while two-thirds of Democratic voters (66 percent) say they want Biden to run, four out of five GOP voters (80 percent) say the same of Trump.

The two both score negatively on favorability ratings, too. Just 46 percent say they have a favorable view of Trump, while only 43 percent say the same of Biden.

Enthusiasm to vote is low as well, with less than half of all voters (47 percent) describing themselves as “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic. Thirty-eight percent say they’re not too enthusiastic or not at all excited to vote in this year’s presidential race.

When it comes to voters’ preferences, Biden and Trump are in a statistical tie. Forty-two percent say they would vote for Biden if the election was held today, while 44 percent say they would back Trump — a 2-point split that’s within the poll’s margin of error.

Some political commentators are acknowledging that the process of selecting a president, through partisan primaries that often exclude nonpartisan voters, is not reflective of what voters want or need.

“The way a minority of the country is determined to force the rest of us to go along with this Biden-Trump bullshit is simply intolerable,” said artist and activist Bree Newsome earlier this month.

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