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President Joe Biden and Former President Donald Trump.
President Joe Biden and Former President Donald Trump.Susan Walsh/AP ; Alex Brandon/AP

Voters uncomfortable with Biden, Trump 2024 candidacies

The latest national NBC News poll finds small groups of voters enthusiastic about Biden or Trump running for president again.


Two-thirds of voters say that they have some reservations or are very uncomfortable with President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump running for the White House again, according to a new national NBC News poll

For Trump, 52% of all voters say they feel “very uncomfortable” about a Trump presidential run in 2024, with another 14% saying they have some reservations. 

For Biden, it’s 48% who voters who are very uncomfortable, with an additional 19% with some reservations.

Roughly the same share of voters — 34% for Trump and 32% for Biden — say they are enthusiastic or comfortable with either man running for the White House again. 

“When you have half of the country, for either one of them, essentially saying they’re very uncomfortable with potentially the leading candidates for both parties, that tells you a lot about how Americans are viewing our leaders or potential leaders,” said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, who conducted the survey with GOP pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies. 

The survey also finds more excitement for Trump, with 15% saying they are enthusiastic about the former president running for the White House, compared to 7% who say the same about Biden. Trump announced a second run for president late last year, while Biden has yet to announce his 2024 re-election plans. 

But Horwitt noted that enthusiasm gap could be a product of the voters who helped fuel Biden’s 2020 victory against Trump. 

“There is a part of the Biden coalition that is not pro-Biden,” Horwitt said. “It was really a vote against Trump and what he represents.”

Both Biden and Trump see more enthusiasm within their own parties, with 63% of Democrats saying they are enthusiastic or comfortable with a Biden run, and 37% having some reservations or feeling uncomfortable about it. The same shares of Republicans expressed those views about Trump. 

But independent voters are sour on both men. 

Just 24% are enthusiastic or comfortable with a Biden run, while 32% say the same of Trump. Three in four independents have reservations or are uncomfortable with a Biden campaign, while 68% feel the same about Trump. 

Excitement about both men’s presidential runs also dropped among some key groups compared to a Feb. 2020 NBC News poll, when Biden was still running for his party’s presidential nomination. 

Trump saw a 20-point drop among white men with a college degree who say they are enthusiastic or comfortable with the former president running for the White House, from 42% nearly three years ago to 22% this month. 

Biden saw a sizable drop among Black voters, with 74% saying they were enthusiastic or comfortable with a Biden run in Feb. 2020 compared to 54% in the most recent survey. 

Horwitt noted the 2020 survey was taken amid a contested Democratic primary, but that the drop among Black voters is concerning for Biden, since Black voters are “a really important part of any Democratic candidate’s coalition and pathway to victory.”

While a small share of voters are enthusiastic about either man running for president again, Americans surveyed do view Trump in a more negative light.

A majority of adults — 53% — view him negatively and 32% view him positively, giving him a net negative rating of minus 21 points, one of the largest of those surveyed. 

Biden has a net negative rating of minus 7 points, with 39% of adults viewing him positively and 46% viewing him negatively. 

The NBC News poll was conducted Jan. 20-24 of 1,000 adults — 823 reached by cell phone — and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points. 

The margin of error of the 810 registered voters the poll surveyed is plus-minus 3.4 percentage points.