Americans Do Not Want a Trump Versus Biden Rematch

Daniel Perodin, Staff Writer

Every four years, Americans make a choice. The people vote to elect their leader, the person who will guide their country for years to come and represent them on the world stage. This choice should be a difficult one; one that forces us to pick from our nation’s best and brightest that makes us enthusiastic to vote. Instead, it would seem Americans could get a rematch of the 2020 presidential election: a choice between a traitor to democracy, and the oldest president in history. 

President Biden’s age has Americans questioning whether he remains fit to lead the country. 68% of Americans believe Biden is too old for another presidential term, and as of May 2023, 54% of Americans disapprove of him. In spite of all this, Democrats largely support Biden for a second term. While Biden may have the advantage of incumbency, he simply does not excite Democrats to vote for him. Biden’s appeal relies on the fact that his supporters see him as the better option as opposed to voting Republican. This tactic may have worked in 2020, but whether voters will buy it a second time around remains unclear.  

Where President Biden fails to galvanize his base, Donald Trump excels at it. Trump supporters remain willing to die for him and have done so. Four Trump supporters died during the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. In 2022, a Trump supporter, who became enraged after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, died after a shootout with the FBI in Cincinnati. No other name in American politics right now matches Trump’s ability to engage his base. Having lost the 2020 election as well as facing a plethora of legal troubles — including an indictment and a loss in a civil suit in the past two months — any other politician would get shunned by their party and fade out of the public eye, but not Trump. Trump feeds off of controversy and scandal, with his support among Republicans rising after his indictment, but what makes his supporters enthusiastic about his candidacy does not apply to the majority of Americans —  61% of Americans do not want him for president.

With Trump and Biden both expected to win the nomination for their respective parties, Americans could find themselves choosing between two undesirable candidates. In 2020, 67% of eligible voters voted: the highest turnout of the century according to the Census Bureau. This data indicates progress regarding voter turnout, but what about the other 33% of eligible voters who did not vote in 2020? Americans should not accept that a third of eligible voters opted out of their civic responsibility. A decision between Biden and Trump will not motivate a population that already does not participate in the electoral process to vote.

Voters, especially young ones, want dynamic candidates who uphold American principles and clearly lay out their visions for the future. Voters want candidates like Barack Obama in 2008 — a young, energetic and charismatic voice with a message that united Americans. Since 2020, a lot has changed in the world; the war in Ukraine, the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased tension with China and the advancement of Artificial Intelligence, to name a few. A 2020 rematch would show how far behind the U.S. has become as the world continues to progress. 

Both the Republican and Democratic parties need to present better candidates to the American people. In 2016, Bernie Sanders garnered significant support from progressives in the Democratic party because they liked his proposed policies and disliked Hillary Clinton’s establishment stance. Sanders will not run in 2024, but candidates like him demonstrated that many Democrats seek a candidate who speaks directly to them and their concerns. Right now, Biden does not seem to have any major competition for the 2024 Democratic nomination, but that could change. 

Many Republicans see Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as an alternative to Trump. Though DeSantis often finds himself in the middle of controversy, and despite an April poll showing him with a 24% approval rating among Republican primary voters, a lot can change between now and the primaries. 

No matter the candidates in 2024, one thing remains certain — the American people will make a choice. As Americans look unfavorably at a Trump versus Biden ticket, other candidates have an opportunity to convince the electorate of their worthiness. America needs new blood in politics, someone to unite us and enthuse us to participate in the democracy we hold so dear.