Trump Has a Huge Opportunity to Beat Biden


Former President Donald Trump has a huge opportunity to beat President Joe Biden in 2024 if he mobilizes one group of voters.

Unlikely voters, estimated to represent roughly 80 million people, are twice as likely to favor Trump than Biden, according to a new poll released by Suffolk University/USA Today on Wednesday. Trump shored up 28 percent support to Biden’s 15 percent among voters unlikely to vote and not registered. That margin was even wider among registered voters who are unlikely to vote, of which 32 percent back a second Trump term and only 13 percent back Biden.

“The new polling showing that unlikely voters favor Trump 2:1 is a significant development in the race,” Craig Agranoff, a professor specializing in political campaigning at Florida Atlantic University, told Newsweek.

The lead Trump holds over Biden among unlikely voters presents a massive untapped opportunity for him since likely voters have already decided which candidate they’d rather vote for in next year’s general election.

President Joe Biden (L) in the Oval Office, on June 22, 2023. Former President Donald Trump (R) in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 8, 2023.
Anna Moneymaker/Mario Tama/Getty Images

It’s also a proportion of voters that’s even larger than the total number of Americans who elected Biden in 2020 when the Democrat received the highest number of votes ever received by a presidential candidate.

“Unlikely voters are unlikely because they don’t vote, but the irony is the outcome largely rests in their hands,” Republican political consultant Alex Patton told Newsweek.

Assuming that Trump wins the GOP nomination, it would be a “must” for the former president to convince undecided voters to turn out for him if he wants to beat Biden in a rematch successfully, strategist Matt Klink said.

Patton pointed out that these voters are driven to the polls for three reasons: anger, fear or to vote against someone or something. Currently, the major issues Americans face and which would likely persuade unlikely voters to turn out are the economy, inflation and crime.

“Undecided voters are not excited or motivated by another four years of a Joe Biden presidency. Incomes are down, inflation is up, consumer goods cost more,” Klink said. “Joe Biden’s advanced age and erratic behavior also play to Donald Trump’s advantage in what’s going to be a very close election where every vote counts.”

“These voters are a diverse group with a wide range of concerns, but they are united in their dissatisfaction with the status quo,” Agranoff said. “Trump can capitalize on this opportunity by focusing on the issues that matter to these voters.”

Patton breaks down this large group of voters into two buckets: one that the Democratic Party has already seized and one that is left up for grabs for Trump.

“Young voters typically don’t have a history of voting, but if they vote, it tends to be in presidential elections,” he said, noting that “There is some data that young people are becoming motivated against the GOP.”

The other category is the infrequent, so-called “swing” voters, who share little in common except their disdain for politics. Of the unlikely voters polled by Suffolk University/USA Today, nearly 7 in 10 say a third party or multiple parties are needed in the U.S.

“Due to their disdain and distrust for politics and politicians, they are difficult to reach and extremely difficult to persuade,” Patton said. However, he noted that Trump has an “alluring quality” for people who have this aversion towards the political system because they see the former president as “an instrument of their disdain.”

But it could also be that disdain that deters these voters from going to the polls. When those registered to vote but unlikely to do so in 2024 were asked to explain why, 13 percent cited feeling like the election is rigged, corrupt or unfair or that their vote doesn’t matter. Among unregistered unlikely voters, that number rose to 16 percent.

Trump has continued to make false claims undermining the election process, and experts say he may need to pivot from that stance to change these voters’ minds.

“The biggest challenge that President Trump faces is finding a message that convinces these undecideds that their vote matters and that a vote for him or against Joe Biden will result in a better America,” Klink said. “It’s a steep obstacle but a significant opportunity.”

Newsweek reached out to the Republican National Committee via email for comment.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here