2024 Presidential Contest

NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll

Biden and Trump Competitive in Early 2024 Matchup Despite Legal Woes

In a potential re-match, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are evenly matched among registered voters in a 2024 head-to-head contest. The two presidents remain competitive when third-party candidates factor into the equation. However, in the head-to-head matchup, Trump leads Biden among voters who dislike both candidates just as he did in the 2020 vote. Biden and Trump remain popular among their party’s bases. While Trump and Biden both face legal challenges, Trump appears more vulnerable than Biden.

2024 Head-to-Head Matchup
If the 2024 election for president were held today, whom would you support if the candidates are:
Source: NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll National Registered Voters. Interviews conducted September 25th through September 28th, 2023, n=1,137 MOE +/- 3.7 percentage points. Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
  • In a head-to-head 2024 presidential matchup, Biden (49%) and Trump (47%) are competitive among registered voters nationally. Trump (50%) is +8 percentage points over Biden (42%) among independents.

  • Among voters who say they have an unfavorable opinion of both candidates, Trump (54%) leads Biden (27%) by two-to-one. 19% are undecided. In the 2020 presidential election exit poll, 52% of voters who disliked both candidates supported Trump while 35% voted for Biden.

  • Nearly two-thirds of voters (65%) do not want Biden to be president, again. Six in ten (60%) say the same about Trump.

  • When third party candidates are factored into the 2024 presidential mix, Biden (40%) and Trump (39%) remain competitive among voters nationally. Three percent would vote for a Libertarian candidate, and 2% would vote for a Green Party candidate. 12% of voters would support another independent or third-party candidate.

  • Biden (43% favorable to 51% unfavorable) and Trump (38% favorable to 56% unfavorable) have upside down favorable ratings. Third-party candidate Cornel West suffers from low name recognition. 14% of Americans view him favorably. 15% have an unfavorable opinion of West, and 72% have either never heard of West or are unsure how to rate him.

“Despite a whirlwind of activity around them, Americans’ views of Biden and Trump remain locked in,” says Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “At this point, a notable number of voters are considering a third-party option, but that does little to change the competitive contest between Biden and Trump.”

Trump and Biden Perceived as Engaging in Wrongdoing, but More So for Trump

The 2024 presidential contest is playing out against a backdrop of legal questions facing both the former and the current president. Three in four Americans think Trump has done something illegal (49%) or something unethical but not illegal (26%). While only 32% of Americans want Trump to be president, again, even if he is convicted of a crime, 67% of Republicans share this view.

More than eight in ten Americans think Hunter Biden’s business dealings with China and Ukraine were not above board. Half (50%) think the president’s son did something illegal, and 35% say he did something unethical but not illegal.

While Americans don’t give Biden a pass, fewer Americans think Biden has done something illegal (38%) or unethical but not illegal (25%) in relation to his son’s business dealings. A majority of Americans (52%) disapprove of the House of Representatives launching an impeachment inquiry into President Biden.

Most GOPers Support Another Trump Run

43% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents say they would be very satisfied with Trump as the 2024 GOP nominee. An additional 34% report they would be satisfied with Trump on the ticket. Trump receives a 74% favorable score among Republicans and Republican leaning independents and has the highest favorability rating of the GOP field.

Ron DeSantis is the only other GOP candidate who receives a favorable rating from a majority of Republicans and Republican leaning independents (58%). 41% have a positive impression of Tim Scott. 40% have a favorable impression of Nikki Haley. 37% think positively of Vivek Ramaswamy. Mike Pence receives a favorable score of 36% while Chris Christie’s rating is 15%. Both Pence (48%) and Christie (54%) are upside down with high negative scores.

Democrats Generally Satisfied with Biden as Democratic Nominee

Three in ten Democrats and Democratic leaning independents say they would be very satisfied if Joe Biden is their party’s nominee. 46% report they would be satisfied. 80% of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents have a favorable impression of Biden.

Biden’s Job Approval Rating at 42%

President Biden seeks re-election with a job approval rating which remains in the low 40s. 42% of Americans approve of the job he is doing, and 50% disapprove. This is little changed from 41% last month. 40% strongly disapprove of Biden’s job performance while 23% strongly approve.