Biden and Trump Remain the Faces of their Parties, but Their Stature With Voters Has Waned
President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are both undoubtedly the faces of their respective parties. But the latest installment of Morning Consult’s annual State of the Parties survey shows voters are becoming less likely to see them as their best representatives.
Biden, Trump Are Losing Standard-Bearer Status
How voters view the parties’ standard-bearers
- Less than 1 in 5 Democratic voters (18%) say Biden best reflects the Democratic Party's current values, down from 30% in a survey conducted last summer.
- About 2 in 5 Republican voters (39%) see Trump as the best representation of the GOP’s values, compared with 47% who said the same in 2021.
- Just 8% of Democrats said Biden was their favorite Democrat from a list of his party’s most recent commanders in chief (down from 13% last year), compared with about a fifth of the share of Republicans (38%) who said Trump was their favorite (down from 45%).a
Why Trump and Biden are still in the driver’s seat for 2024
Beyond Biden’s incumbency and Trump’s campaign that has hardly stopped following his 2020 loss, both figures remain popular with their party’s voters and continue to lead in early polls of the Democratic and Republican electorates.
And despite their far different troubles over the past several months — Biden’s post-honeymoon stumbles on his agenda and an inflation-ridden economy and the intense focus on Trump’s potential criminality — the majority of Democrats and Republicans still want to see their party’s leader run for president again in 2024.
While the thirst for a 2020 nomination redux is stronger on the right, Biden’s position looks more secure, given that the person most Democratic voters see as their best standard-bearer is constitutionally barred from holding the Oval Office ever again.
Obama and Trump Are Seen as Their Parties’ Best Representatives by Voters
Whom voters elevate as alternatives to Biden, Trump
- Compared to Biden, Democratic voters are twice as likely to say former President Barack Obama best represents their party, 37% to 18%. (Obama also ranks as the Democratic electorate’s favorite president, with 53% support.)
- Aside from Obama, there is no major standout in the Democratic Party to take on standard-bearer status. Given a range of names, Democrats are nearly as likely to say Vice President Kamala Harris (7%) best reflects the party’s values as they are to identify either Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (both 5%).
- On the Republican side, there is more of a budding challenge to Trump’s reign: 23% of GOP voters say Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is the best representative of the current GOP — up from 14% last year. It mirrors a similar improvement in his standing against Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican front-runner, in early primary surveys.
The latest State of the Parties survey was conducted July 30-31, 2022, among a national sample of 1,578 Democratic voters and 1,363 Republican voters, with unweighted margins of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Eli Yokley is Morning Consult’s U.S. politics analyst. Prior to his current role, Eli was Morning Consult’s senior reporter covering U.S. politics. Eli joined Morning Consult in 2016 from Roll Call, where he reported on House and Senate campaigns after five years of covering state-level politics in the Show Me State while studying at the University of Missouri in Columbia, including contributions to The New York Times, Politico and The Daily Beast. Follow him on Twitter @eyokley. Interested in connecting with Eli to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].