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Biden May Suffer From a Passion Gap

By Adeline Von Drehle
Published On: Last updated 05/13/2024, 03:31 PM EDT

Recent polling from TIPP shows President Joe Biden with 42% support over his predecessor Donald Trump, who claims 40% support. This deviates slightly from the RCP Average, in which Trump leads Biden by 1.1 points. About 10% of Americans chose “other” over either of the two most recent presidents, suggesting dissatisfaction with the likely major party nominees. 

This dissatisfaction may correlate with voter turnout in November. When asked how likely they were to vote in the presidential election, only 60% of respondents said they were “absolutely certain” that they would cast a ballot, according to an ABC poll. The same poll showed that 8% of voters were “50/50” on whether they would vote, and 21% of Americans were even less likely than that to head to the polls in November.

Biden seems to suffer more than Trump from these feelings of discontent. When likely Biden voters were asked whether they support Biden strongly or moderately, 54% said they support him “strongly” while 43% backed him “moderately.” For Trump, the picture is rosier. Of those responding, 64% described their support for the former president as strong, while a mere 34% described it as moderately. 

Trump, then, appears to have stronger intensity of his base support than does Biden. 

The Tipp Poll also asked respondents who they expected to win in November, and the answer suggested further increased enthusiasm for Trump. Thirty-seven percent of voters predicted that Trump would win, while 34% chose Biden as the likely victor. Another 15% described the election as “too close to call,” while 12% said they “don’t know enough to answer one way or the other.”

Another, similar question was asked with the intention of revealing how people truly feel about the candidates. TIPP asked, “If the election were held today, who do you believe most of your neighbors would vote for?” The answer is telling: 43% responded Trump, while only 31% said Biden. Another quarter said, “not sure.”

Altogether, the data suggests that while Biden holds an edge over Trump in the polls, he may suffer from a passion gap.

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