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Democrats stand behind Biden as GOP casts doubt on Trump

Democrats stand behind Biden as GOP casts doubt on Trump

As we approach 2024, our Canvass Capitol Hill and K Street surveys offer fascinating insights into how both parties are viewing the presidential election.

Democrats on the Hill and downtown are standing behind President Joe Biden, even with his middling poll numbers. Republicans, meanwhile, are wary of former President Donald Trump despite his large primary lead.

On the Democratic side, a large majority of both senior Hill staffers and K Street respondents consistently told us they believe Biden is their party’s best option for winning in 2024. Canvass respondents have remained firm in their position even as polls show Biden struggling among Democrats.

In our January K Street survey, 59% of respondents said Biden was the party’s best option to win in 2024. In the October K Street edition, this number stayed consistent at 62%. In February, 76% of senior Hill staffers went with Biden. In November, the tally was 72%.

The flip side of this equation is an overwhelming consensus that no prominent elected Democratic lawmakers will challenge Biden for the nomination. Sorry, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.)!

In July, 93% of K Street Democrats said it was unlikely Biden would face a serious challenger. In September, 98% of senior Democratic staffers said the same.

Bidenomics is a Biden-don’t: Even though Democrats see Biden as their party’s standard bearer in 2024, our surveys found there was widespread discontent with “Bidenomics” as a political message.

Forty-seven percent of senior Hill Democratic staffers said they don’t believe the White House’s economic rebrand is an effective campaign message for the party. According to our October K Street survey, 51% of downtown Democrats agree.

The Trump factor: Unlike Democrats, Republicans largely told us they didn’t believe Trump is the GOP’s best option for taking back the Oval Office in 2024. Some glaring numbers: In March, just 1% of downtown Republicans said Trump is the best option. The highest mark Trump got all year was 13% of support from Hill respondents in November.

GOP respondents told us they thought Trump’s legal challenges would help them in the Republican primary, however. In our September survey, 80% of top Republican Hill staffers said that Trump’s multiple indictments have helped him amass a commanding lead in the presidential primaries.

And in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s first indictment in Manhattan, 75% of GOP downtown leaders said the indictment would boost his primary chances.

— Max Cohen

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