What if You Held an Election and Nobody Came? 

Studio Romantic / shutterstock.com
Studio Romantic / shutterstock.com

As Biden and Trump continue to hammer away at each other, it’s become clear that voters can’t seem to muster enthusiasm for either one ahead of the 2024 election. The nation is becoming increasingly election-weary, and to many of them, the choice of candidates is as exciting as a root canal. And, most likely, twice as painful. 

In many ways, the apathy Democrats feel about a Biden second term benefits GOP frontrunner and predicted Republican candidate Donald Trump. But the apathy of Biden’s voting base is balanced by the outright hatred many voters feel about Trump. 

Last month, an enthusiastic media piled on concerns over Trump labeling “radical left thugs” as vermin. So-called experts were quick to draw parallels between his comments and those made by Adolf Hitler. 

But despite the attempts to delegitimize Trump’s message, it still resonated, even among Democrats. An Ipsos poll presented respondents with Trump’s statement that “communists, Marxists, fascists, and the radical-left thugs live like vermin within the confines of our country” and that they “lie and steal and cheat on elections” — without telling them who said it. 

Half the respondents agreed with the statement, including 71% of Republicans and 37% of Democrats. When the poll revealed that it was Trump’s comment, 57% of respondents still agreed with the sentiment, including 38% of Democrats.  

While the survey revealed that there is still a narrow Trump lead, a quarter of respondents opted for neither candidate. Additionally, 15% of participants expressed indecision or uncertainty about whether they would vote in 2024 at all. 

America is equally unimpressed by both Biden’s and Trump’s agendas. As Biden pushes for more Ukraine aid, for instance, the poll revealed a lackluster response to the issue, with 38% of independent voters against sending more aid, 27% in favor of additional assistance, and 35% who didn’t care. 

Trump’s idea of stopping the granting of U.S. citizenship to everyone born on American soil had an equally “meh” response, with only 29% in favor. 

The only item that excited respondents about the upcoming election was the economy. Nine out of 10 respondents consider it the most crucial factor in their voting decisions.  

Forty-five percent of respondents favored Trump on the economy, 33% leaned towards Biden, and the remaining respondents voiced uncertainty that either candidate could be trusted to mitigate the economic crisis. 

The biggest obstacle Biden faces is that he lacks any momentum. His policies are lackluster, and he has no hope of whipping up enthusiasm in his base. Trump’s MAGA movement elicits a guttural response from both parties, either support or outright loathing. 

Barack Obama sailed through victory by creating a movement, and even Bernie Sanders had an enthusiastic following for his 2016 primary movement. But Biden lacks anything that Democrats can embrace. 

Meanwhile, Republicans embrace MAGA more than they support Trump himself. What conservatives are hoping for is a MAGA candidate uncomplicated by the Trump name. 

America has grown tired of both candidates. In a September YouGov poll, survey respondents were asked to pick an emotion regarding the 2024 election. They were presented with three positive, three negative, and one neutral emotion. 

Only 32% of respondents chose a positive emotion (delight, optimism, or excitement). Conversely, the majority of respondents selected a negative emotion (depression, dread, or exhaustion). Fifty-six percent of those surveyed chose a negative emotion.  

The emotion topping the list was “dread,” which garnered 41% of responses. At 34%, “exhaustion” was the second most popular choice. Depression” accounted for 21% of the responses, and “indifference” earned 17% of respondent’s choices. 

Voters are less than enthusiastic about choosing between Trump and Biden. Thirty-four percent of Americans feel that Trump’s return to the Oval Office would be “the worst thing that could happen” for the nation. Among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, 74% expressed this opinion. 

Biden fared a little worse in this poll, with 36% of voters, including 75% of Republicans, believing another Biden term would be “the worst thing that could happen” for the country.  

For most voters, it’s a choice between expired milk and expired yogurt. Neither one is appealing, and it’s a matter of choosing which one will make them less sick.