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Donald Trump’s Hidden Advantage for the 2024 Presidential Race

Ex-President Donald Trump might hold a covert edge in the race for the 2024 presidential election, as recent polling data indicates.

Trump, a figure who has sharply polarized American public opinion since his initial presidential bid in 2015, seems to be gaining traction among new voters despite his defeat to Joe Biden in the 2020 election. In a range of polls, Trump, leading in the Republican race, shows stronger performance than Biden, who seeks re-election, particularly among those who abstained from voting in the previous election.

A recent CNN survey revealed that in a potential 2024 contest, Trump’s lead over Biden is significantly bolstered by individuals who did not vote in 2020. For instance, in Georgia, these non-voters favored Trump by a margin of 26 percentage points. In Michigan, their support for Trump extended to a 40-point margin. Notably, Biden had secured victories in both these states in the last election. The survey did not clarify if these non-voters were ineligible to vote previously due to age or other factors.

The overall preference among registered voters in Georgia shows 49 percent support for Trump compared to Biden’s 44 percent, while in Michigan, 50 percent back Trump against Biden’s 40 percent. Moreover, the proportion of voters unwilling to support either Trump or Biden in both states is at least as significant as the margin separating the two candidates.

Another poll by The New York Times/Siena College reveals that almost a third of Trump’s 2024 support in key battleground states comes from 2020 non-voters, in contrast to only 20 percent of Biden’s supporters. Similarly, an Emerson College poll highlights that nearly 8 percent of 2020 non-voters prefer Trump over Biden, whereas a smaller 5 percent lean towards Biden.

While the numbers of new Trump supporters might be modest, such shifts are crucial in tightly contested races.

Political strategist Jay Townsend advises that both campaigns should focus on engaging previous non-voters. “Trump successfully did this in 2016, to a lesser extent in 2020, and Biden will likely aim to attract recently eligible young voters,” Townsend notes.

He emphasizes the critical role of these voters, particularly in swing states, where boosting voter turnout can significantly sway the election outcome. Currently, Trump appears to have the upper hand in attracting these voters.

In addition to gaining new voters, Trump also seems more successful than Biden in retaining his 2020 voter base.

Data from a New York Times survey in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin show that 75 percent of Trump’s 2024 support stems from his 2020 voter base, compared to 69 percent of Biden’s current support coming from his 2020 voters.

The CNN poll supports this trend, indicating a shift of some previous Biden supporters in Georgia and Michigan towards Trump for the 2024 election.

The New York Times poll further shows that Trump is attracting a larger share of former Biden voters (3 percent) compared to Biden’s ability to draw former Trump voters (1 percent).