Trump or Biden: Americans stuck with least-popular presidential options in 3 decades – poll

As the 2024 United States Presidential Election quickly approaches, American voters may find themselves stuck with the least-liked major party candidates in decades, according to a Pew Research Center poll published on Friday. 

The poll, which collected responses from 8638 voters from May 13-19, found that the number of people sharing negative opinions of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden is higher now than in previous polls dating back to 1988. 

In 2020, the last election where Trump and Biden faced off against one another, the percentage of voters with negative opinions of the pair sat at 13%. The percentage has now almost doubled, with 25% of pollees expressing discontent with both leading options. 

Only in 2016, when Hilary Clinton faced off against Trump, did the dislike of candidates reach nearly that high, with 20% stating they disliked both Clinton and Trump. 

Pre-2016, from 1988, the number of respondents disliking both major candidates never exceeded 13%.

Signs ripped away from an activist advocating for the conviction of former U.S. President Donald Trump are seen on the ground following a skirmish with supporters of Trump outside the Manhattan Criminal Court on the 2nd day of jury deliberations in Trump’s criminal trial. (credit: MIKE SEGAR / REUTERS)

Trump versus Biden

While a quarter of respondents said they disliked both Biden and Trump, 34% said they were favorable to Biden and not Trump. An additional 36% countered that they were favorable to Trump and not Biden. Only 3% were favorable to both nominees.

Notably, Biden’s favorability has dropped by 9% since he won in 2020. Trump’s favorability has stayed fairly much the same, with 37% viewing him favorably in 2016 and 42% in 2020. 

Up until 2024, Trump had the lowest percentage of respondents viewing him favorably but now that percentage has been matched by Biden. Only Mitt Romney came close to this level of unpopularity, having only been favored by 38% of respondents in 2012.

How are other politicians polling?

Some 36% of respondents said they viewed Kamala Harris favorably, with 3% saying they had never heard of the vice president. 

24% of respondents said they viewed Mike Johnson favorably, with a staggering 37% stating they had never heard of the Republican House speaker. 

Chuck Schumer was viewed favorably by 27% of respondents and 25% said they hadn’t an idea of who he was.