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Trump-Biden Matchup Fires Voter Enthusiasm, Especially for Republicans

There’s a lot more voter excitement about a Trump-Biden matchup compared to the last two presidential elections, especially among Republicans.

Sixty percent (60%) of Likely U.S. Voters say a choice this November between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden is one they are excited about. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 34% will simply be voting for the lesser of two evils instead. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

By comparison, however, just 41% were excited by a choice between Trump and Hillary Clinton in March 2016. Only 44% were excited about a choice between then-President Barack Obama and putative Republican nominee Mitt Romney in May 2012.

Republicans (75%) are a lot more enthusiastic about a Trump-Biden matchup than Democrats (57%) and voters not affiliated with either major party (48%) are.

Twenty percent (20%) of all voters still say they are at least somewhat likely to vote for a third-party presidential candidate if Trump and Biden are the nominees of the big parties, with eight percent (8%) who are Very Likely to do so.

But last fall, 38% said they were likely to vote for a third-party candidate rather than Trump or an unnamed Democratic presidential nominee in the 2020 election.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted April 20-21, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Most Democrats now think their party is likely to hold an open convention in which the delegates choose a candidate rather than rely on the primary results. But they overwhelmingly believe Joe Biden will still emerge as the presidential nominee.

A caution to Trump: 12% of Republicans say they are Very Likely to vote third-party if he and Biden are the nominees, compared to four percent (4%) of Democrats and 10% of unaffiliated voters.

At the same time, those under 40 who generally are more likely to vote Democrat are far less enthusiastic about a Trump-Biden election than their elders are. Younger voters are also a lot more likely to say they will vote for a third–party candidate this November.

Blacks are more excited about a Trump-Biden matchup than whites and other minority voters are.

Ninety-one percent (91%) of voters who Strongly Approve of Trump’s job performance are enthusiastic about a Trump-Biden matchup in the fall. Among those who Strongly Disapprove of the president’s job performance, just 51% agree.

Voters are evenly divided when asked whether Biden would do a better job than Trump dealing with the coronavirus.

Earlier this month, Democrats were evenly divided when asked whether Biden or New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would make a better challenger against Trump in November. Cuomo is not a candidate for the nomination but has earned positive reviews for his response to the coronavirus while questions have arisen about Biden’s mental health.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted April 20-21, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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