Sanders has highest favorability among possible 2024 contenders: poll
BY ZACH SCHONFELD
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) clocked in with the highest favorability rating among a list of 23 potential 2024 presidential contenders, according to a new USA Today-Ipsos poll.
Forty-six percent of respondents said they had at least a somewhat favorable view toward Sanders, while 41 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion.
President Biden had the second-highest favorability rating at 43 percent, although his unfavorability rating was notably higher than Sanders’s, with 52 percent of those surveyed saying they had an unfavorable opinion of the president.
Former President Trump clocked in with the same ratings as Biden.
The three political figures were followed in the poll by other well-known potential candidates, while possible contenders with a smaller national profile were seen as unfamiliar by most voters.
Vice President Harris and former Vice President Mike Pence both received favorable ratings from at least 40 percent of respondents, earning the third- and fourth-highest figures among the candidates, respectively.
Among Democrats, Biden received the highest favorability rating, with 82 percent of Democratic voters indicating a positive view of the sitting president. Just 11 percent of Republicans indicated a favorable view of Biden.
Biden and his aides insist he plans to run for a second term in 2024 if his health allows, although some Democrats have dodged questions about supporting Biden’s reelection bid amid his low approval numbers.
When asked, many of those Democrats say they are focused on this year’s midterm elections. But some figures dodging questions include those who could potentially mount their own White House bid in 2024.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) declined in June to say if she would be endorsing Biden in 2024 during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” she said. “But I think if the president has a vision, and that’s something certainly we’re all willing to entertain and examine when the time comes.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s favorability rating in the poll was in the middle of the pack, ranking No. 11 among those of the 23 polled candidates.
Thirty-three percent of voters surveyed said they had a favorable view of Ocasio-Cortez, while 38 percent indicated an unfavorable view.
The poll found the progressive lawmaker had the lowest favorability rating among Republicans, with 10 percent of GOP respondents giving her a favorable rating, 1 percentage point lower than Biden and Harris.
Trump received the highest favorability rating among Republicans — 81 percent — according to the poll. The former president was followed by Pence and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who were viewed favorably by 69 percent and 68 percent of Republican voters, respectively.
A group of moderate Republican governors included in the poll, like Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, saw lower favorability ratings.
But the vast majority of respondents also indicated they were unfamiliar with the two governors, while higher-profile figures like Trump and Pence were known by most voters polled.
The poll was conducted Aug. 18-22 through online interviews with 2,345 U.S. adults. The margin of error is 2.5 percentage points.