Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
January 19, 2024
It is unfortunate that many US voters are turned off by the prospect of a rematch of Biden vs Trump already, even though the final voting is still about 10 months away.
The sad reality is that it appears right now, there is no real escape that we will be stuck by picking either Biden or Trump on November 5, 2024. However, there is still some time left so we hope the primary voters would not sit idle and encourage any challenger to compete with either Biden or Trump.
However, US voters must also reflect and take responsibilities. Under the US political system, leaders are voted into office by the majority of voters. So, Trump won the general election in 2016, Biden won the general election in 2020: their short comings and failures as the US President reflect the voters’ wisdom.
There is just no one else to blame if the voters do not take responsibility to make the right choice.
Trump vs. Biden? No thanks. As 2024 election ramps up, many wish it were over
Savannah Kuchar, Terry Collins and Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY
Updated Fri, January 19, 2024 at 9:31 AM PST
DES MOINES, Iowa ‒ While politicians and some Iowans were braving subzero temperatures, software engineer Ralph Krausse, 53, was halfway across the country in his New Hampshire home happily watching “Monday Night Football.”
Krausse, a Republican, plans to vote in next Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, but like many Americans, he’s already tired of this year’s presidential campaign, which he expects will be a rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.
“What happened is what I’d assumed, so it didn’t really occur to me to watch it,” Krausse said of this week’s Iowa Caucuses. “And the football game was on.”
In frigid Chicago, Cheryl Wassenaar also was watching the game, purposely trying to avoid the Iowa Caucuses. But the coverage was interrupted by breaking news that Trump won.
“So much for that,” said Wassenaar, 30, a Democrat. “I’m exhausted from the election narrative, and we’ve barely gotten past the caucuses, which have their own hullabaloo. And it’s only January. We still have 10 months to go.”
Krausse and Wassenaar, like many others, found other things to do Monday rather than pay close attention to the Iowa Caucuses. In addition to being up against Monday Night Football, the Emmys were also on TV at the same time. The viewership for the caucuses was lower than the 8.5 million who watched in 2020, according to an analysis by TheHill.com. Monday night’s Eagles-Buccaneers game, by contrast, had nearly 29 million viewers nationwide.
And like many other Americans, Krausse and Wassenaar have become disillusioned with both major parties and are dreading an apparent rematch this fall.
“If Trump’s the nominee, which he will be, and Biden’s the nominee, which he will be, I most likely just won’t even vote. … I don’t even really care. I mean, it’s going to happen, whatever is going to happen,” Krausse said.
In conversations with voters across the country this week, many echoed that sense of fatigue and distaste for another Trump-Biden face-off. Election season is barely five days old, and many are already ready for it to end.
And, with the country nearly evenly split in the polls, it’s precisely these disaffected and frustrated voters who will be pivotal in the Nov. 5 election.
Persuading voters to show up
Paleologos says his polls suggest voters are sick of watching politicians trash one another. Instead, they’re saying: “I want to live. I want to have my enjoyment. I want my simple pleasures of life. I don’t like politicians. I hate politics. I don’t want to watch it,” he said.
That means the presidential race could come down to which party can persuade their base to even show up.
“People can’t pay their bills, credit card balances are through the roof. Inflation is high. Democracy is in peril. Immigration is out of control. So, there’s a lot of pain going around. And that should be a motivator of people to vote,” Paleologos said. “But for who?”
“What we’re seeing is that Trump is not the solution to a lot of voters,” he added. “And Biden isn’t either.”
‘Neither of these parties is in alignment with me’
Corryn Grace Freeman, executive director of Future Coalition, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based voting rights nonprofit, doesn’t plan to cast a ballot for either Biden or Trump.
“I’m completely disenchanted from the political process at the moment,” said Grace Freeman, 34. “Right now, there’s just no way I’m going to vote for Joe Biden again. I don’t believe in his leadership as an American, especially as a Black American.
“And I’m absolutely not voting for Trump. He’s a terrible option,” Freeman said. “I might vote for a third-party candidate or not vote at all ‒ and I’m a voting rights advocate!”
According to a USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll from last fall, only about 1 in 6 of unlikely voters ‒ 17% ‒ say the Democratic and Republican parties do a good job of representing the nation’s political views. Twenty percent say a third party is necessary, and 44% want multiple parties.
Freeman, who considers herself a progressive, said “Neither of these parties is in alignment with me.” She cites issues such as inflation hitting a four-decade high, homeownership being out of reach for most young Americans, the Biden administration’s student loan debt relief not being enough, and laws restricting reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights in her home state.
“It’s exhausting, plus I’ve put my creditability on the line for candidates who have overpromised and underdelivered,” she said.
Freeman supported Biden in 2020 but believes he and the Democratic Party are now out of touch, especially with young voters.
“Look, what I won’t do is take the blame for a Trump victory if Biden doesn’t win,” Freeman said.
Matt Shoemaker, 35, a Republican who is campaigning for North Carolina’s 13th District in the House of Representatives, which includes Raleigh and surrounding areas, said that from what he’s seeing on the campaign trail, voters are being inundated with candidates who are carbon copies of one another, all making sterile pitches.
Shoemaker, a Navy Reserve lieutenant, said the Biden-Trump rematch is reminding voters of the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day,” in which the lead character, played by Bill Murray, must relive the same day over and over.
“I think that’s wearing them down a lot.”