Most California voters don’t want Biden or Trump to run in 2024 – San Bernardino Sun

California voters seem ready for a change in the White House come 2025. 

Most voters who responded to a University of California – Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies poll last week said they were opposed to President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump leading the 2024 ticket. 

More specifically, 61% said they did not want the current Democratic president to seek a second term, and 71% were opposed to Trump seeking a second, non-congruent stint in the White House. 

Those numbers are much less stark when you break them down by party affiliation. 

Among Republican voters, 66% said they would like Trump to be the GOP nominee while 29% opposed the idea. 

The split among Democratic voters was even: 46% said they favored Biden as the Democratic nominee in 2024 and 46% were against it. 

But is all of this surprising? 

Biden didn’t win California in the 2020 Democratic primary election; he came in second to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a progressive from Vermont, by about 8 percentage points. 

“The fact that deep blue California is not excited about Donald Trump running for president again shouldn’t be particularly surprising. But it’s worth remembering that Biden didn’t fare all that well out here in the Democratic primary in 2020 either,” said Dan Schnur, a Berkeley and USC politics professor. “So Californians being less enthusiastic about him running again shouldn’t catch anyone by surprise either.”

U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held his “A Future to Believe in Southern California Election Night Rally” at the StubHub Center Tennis Stadium Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in Carson, CA. (Steve McCrank/Staff Photographer)

So what does that mean for the 2024 ticket? 

Gov. Gavin Newsom comes out on top, so far, among eligible Democratic primary voters polled — albeit, none of the potential contenders came away with a consensus of those surveyed. 

“While many California Democrats are not convinced that Biden should run again, the absence of a clear Democratic alternative may afford the president more space in avoiding a serious primary challenge should he decide to seek re-election,” Eric Schickler, the IGS co-director, said.

Newsom — who has fueled 2024 rumors by taking out ads in Florida and joining Trump’s Truth Social app to criticize red states — was the first choice for 13% of these voters; Sanders was also the No.1 choice for 13% of Democratic primary voters surveyed.

However, Newsom pulled away from the pack a bit when eligible Democratic primary voters were asked about their first or second choice picks: 25% picked Newsom as their first or second choice while 18% picked Sanders. 

Vice President Kamala Harris was the first choice pick for 10% of primary voters and the first or second choice pick for 18%.  

Schnur said not every primary voter may be as in-tune to Newsom’s recent political dabblings in other states and “not yet thinking of him in the context of the presidential campaign.”

And while Newsom has been a fairly popular governor, “Sanders is still a hero to progressive voters everywhere,” including California, Schnur said. “It’s easy to see how California Democrats would rather have a candidate who is further to the left.”

For Republicans, if Trump is not running, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a clear frontrunner: 53% of Republican voters said they would support a 2024 bid for him. 

Following is former Vice President Mike Pence at 9%, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley at 4%, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at 4%. 

The Berkeley IGS poll was conducted online Aug. 9-15 in English and Spanish. It surveyed 9,254 registered voters with a sampling error of approximately +/-2 percentage points.

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