The election season in the United States is in full swing as candidates from both major political parties start their campaigns ahead of caucuses and primaries scheduled for early next year.
A recent Harvard CAPS-Harris poll reveals a notable public sentiment of dissatisfaction, with more than half of Americans considering that the country is going astray and President Biden is not fit for office. Specifically, 61% of respondents believe the country is overall on the “wrong track”, and 62% feel the same about the nation’s economy.
Approximately a third of Americans perceive the country to be in a recession already, and 39% predict it will be in a recession in a year’s time. In contrast, 27% are optimistic about the country avoiding a recession.
President Biden’s job performance received approval from 44% of the respondents, while 55% expressed disapproval. The top five concerns among respondents were inflation and rising prices (34%), economy and jobs (26%), immigration (24%), guns (21%), and crime or drugs (17%).
A significant 59% of respondents expressed doubts about President Biden’s mental fitness for the presidency, and 68% deemed him too old for the role. As for the upcoming elections, 54% of respondents predict a victory for former President Donald Trump in the Republican primaries, while 62% of Democrats would still opt for Joe Biden, with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as the second choice at 16%.
In a hypothetical rematch of the 2020 election today, 45% of voters would opt for Trump, while 40% would choose Biden. If Vice President Kamala Harris were to run instead of Biden, Trump would garner 47% of the vote compared to Harris’s 38%.
Looking at the prospect of a second term, 64% of respondents feel Biden should not run again, and 57% echo the same sentiment for Trump. If the election choice comes down to Biden and Trump, 57% say they would consider an independent moderate candidate.
On the topic of Trump’s potential third indictment related to his actions on January 6, opinions are divided. However, 56% of respondents believe another indictment would negatively impact Trump but also view it as a potential “distraction” that adds more drama to the 2024 election.
Concerning the discovery of cocaine in the White House, 63% of voters believe further investigation is necessary, while 37% are content with the Secret Service’s inconclusive findings.
The first 2024 Republican presidential debate is slated for August 23 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Although the Democratic National Committee is firmly supporting Biden, they are not expected to hold any official primary debates. Republican caucuses and primaries will commence mid-January with the Iowa caucus, followed by the New Hampshire primary. The Democrats will hold their first primary in South Carolina on February 3.