Americans are still unhappy about a looming U. S. presidential election


A Reuters poll show Americans are still unhappy about an election rematch as the presidential candidates campaigns came into sharper focus in 2024. Many Americans feel they are being forced to pick who they feel is the better out of two evils.

Overall, the poll gave numerous signs that voters are not happy with their choices.

Seventy percent of respondents - including about half of Democrats - agreed with a statement that Biden should not seek re-election. Fifty-six percent of people responding to the poll said Trump should not run, including about a third of Republicans.

Biden has been weighed down by the widespread view that at 81, already the oldest person ever to be U.S. president, he is too old for the job.

Three-quarters of poll respondents agreed with a statement that Biden was too old to work in government, while half said the same about Trump, who at 77 would also be among the oldest U.S. leaders ever if returned to the White House. Just over half of Democrats saw Biden as too old while a third of Republicans viewed Trump that way.

Haley, 52, is trying to marshal dissatisfaction to turn around her well-financed but flagging campaign.

"Most Americans do not want a rematch between Biden and Trump," she said on Tuesday after her loss to Trump in New Hampshire. "The first party to retire its 80-year-old candidate is going to be the party that wins this election."

The new poll showed Trump with a towering nationwide lead over Haley - 64% to 19% - as they prepare for the Feb. 24 Republican nomination contest in South Carolina, which Haley led as governor 2011-2017.

Turnout could still be high in the November general election in part because voters from both parties are highly motivated to beat the other side.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents who said they planned to vote for Biden said they were motivated primarily by opposition to Trump, while Trump voters were more positive about their candidate and his policies, with just 39% describing their vote as one against Biden.

Anti-Trump sentiment helped Biden defeat Trump in the 2020 election, when a record-high share of eligible voters cast ballots.

Another factor that could weigh on Trump: 55% of Republicans in the poll said he should be convicted and sentenced to prison if he broke the law. Trump, who is currently facing four criminal prosecutions, has argued in court that he should be immune to prosecution for actions taken while he was president.

To be sure, most Republicans do not think he is guilty - only one in five Republican respondents said it was believable that Trump solicited election fraud, one of the key charges against him, and four out of five said his political opponents were abusing the legal system to derail his presidential bid.
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