A number of recent polls have given good news for former President Donald Trump and not-so-good news for President Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election. While primary season is far from over, Trump enjoys a healthy lead over the rest of the field and is likely to become the GOP nominee.
A new CBS News poll analyzed, among other questions, attitudes about Biden and Trump and who Americans might favor in the upcoming election. However, it also unveiled some intricate dynamics that could prove pivotal for the race to the White House.
For starters, when asked who respondents would vote for if the election were held today, 50 percent chose Trump while 49 percent went with Biden. This is in line with other polls showing Trump tied with, or defeating, the current president.
What was most noteworthy about this poll were questions related to why Americans were supporting their chosen candidate.
For Biden, a slender majority of his voters support him mostly to oppose Trump, not necessarily because they like the president. When asked about their motivation, 49 percent indicated they would vote for Biden to support him while 51 percent said they would vote for Biden mostly to prevent Trump from winning.
On the other hand, the results for Trump were markedly different. About 61 percent of respondents indicated they would vote for Trump because they support him while 39 percent said they would do so to get Biden out of the White House.
These numbers point to a distinct enthusiasm gap between the two candidates. This could play a significant role in the outcome of the 2024 election if Trump is the nominee.
Enthusiasm can be a huge factor in driving voter turnout. Candidates who have an engaged and energized base tend to fare better in elections than those who have a low level of enthusiasm for their candidacy. Voter enthusiasm is considered a significant predictor of turnout. Several studies have shown how the level of enthusiasm can determine the outcome of elections, meaning that the results of the CBS News poll could be a prime factor in influencing the trajectory of the presidential race.
Moreover, enthusiasm can also have a great influence on fundraising. The more excited people are by a candidate, the more they are likely to donate, volunteer, and advocate for their person. This is an encouraging sign for the Republican base, even those who have doubts about supporting Trump.
On the other side, Biden’s lack of strong enthusiasm might be a serious hurdle to overcome. Concerns about his age and cognitive ability have plagued his campaign and presidency, and it’s only getting worse. It might cause people to be hesitant about turning out to support him even if they believe he is the better choice.
Of course, it is important to note that these polls are just snapshots of a particular moment in the timeline. These numbers could easily change in the face of new developments. While the indictments against Trump have only strengthened his candidacy, this may not always be the case – especially if it appears that he will be convicted and face jail time. Still, the numbers do show that the myriad of politically motivated legal actions against the former president are far from derailing his chances of occupying the White House once again.