President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have something in common that may prove troublesome to both: Michiganders in each of their parties are largely cool on the prospect of either being the presidential nominee in 2024.
So says a poll of likely voters released Friday.
Start with the current president. Among self-identified Democrats surveyed by EPIC-MRA of Lansing, just 24% said they wanted Biden to be their party’s nominee in two years. A majority of them — 60% — said they want someone else. Sixteen percent were undecided.
The news isn’t much better for former President Donald Trump, who recently announced he is running for reelection in two years. Trump faces a similar problem with Michigan Republicans. Only 35% of those voters are supporting his candidacy, with 47% saying they preferred someone else to be the GOP nominee. Eighteen percent were undecided.
The poll of 600 randomly selected likely voters, which was conducted between last Wednesday and this Tuesday, had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points for the entire sample, but it would be larger for subgroups such as respondents who identified as one party or another.
The Free Press uses EPIC-MRA as its pollster but did not commission the survey released Friday.
Independents also were largely against either man becoming their party’s nominee in 2024, with 75% preferring someone other than Trump (and 9% preferring him and 16% undecided) and 73% preferring someone other than Biden (and 18% preferring him and 9% undecided).
Taken as a whole: When all voters were asked if Biden should be nominee, 17% said yes, 71% said it should be someone else, and 12% were undecided or refused to answer. When asked if Trump should be the nominee, 18% said yes, 70% said it should be someone else and, again, 12% were undecided or refused to answer.
Biden has not yet said whether he intends to run for reelection in 2024 but expects to make a decision early next year. He recently endorsed a plan adopted by the Democratic Party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee — and one to be put to the entire Democratic National Committee in February — to make Michigan one of the first five states to hold its party primary in two years.
In 2020, Biden easily defeated U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont for the Democratic nomination in Michigan’s primary. He went on to beat Trump in Michigan in the general election by more than 154,000 votes.
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EPIC-MRA pollster Bernie Porn said he suspects that Biden’s lack of support as the Democratic nominee is based on “a combination of things,” including the fact that he recently turned 80 years old. “He’s accomplished a great deal, but they didn’t do a great job communicating those things until late in the (midterm) campaign (season),” Porn added.
As for Trump, Porn noted polls showing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis leading Trump among Republicans for the presidential nomination. “Trump is not toxic yet, but is becoming toxic (to his own party),” he said.
Trump has suffered a series of political setbacks, with many of his hand-picked candidates, including those in Michigan, being defeated by Democrats in top races. Democrats maintained control of the U.S. Senate in a year when they were expected by many handicappers to lose control.
The poll had a partisan breakdown of 40% Democrats, 40% Republicans, 16% independents and 4% who were either undecided or identified with another party. In a hypothetical matchup between Biden and Trump, Biden led 47%-43% among all surveyed.
The poll also indicated that a majority of Michiganders — 62% — have a negative view of Biden’s performance as president, compared to 37% who have a positive view. While 50% have an unfavorable opinion of Biden overall, separate from his job performance as president, a larger percentage, 58%, have an unfavorable view of Trump.
The poll also showed that Michiganders, following a midterm election in which voters reelected Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and flipped control of the state Legislature to Democrats, are generally more upbeat about the future than they were a month ago.
Forty-eight percent said the state was headed in the right direction, compared to 38% who said it was on the wrong track and 14% who were undecided and didn’t answer the question. Before last month’s election, just 38% said the state was headed in the right direction, compared to 50% who said it was on the wrong track.
Contact Todd Spangler email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @tsspangler.