Early 2024 scorecard: Could Biden face a challenger? Could Pence beat Trump? What about Cheney?

Susan Page

Paging Bernie Sanders? 

A new USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll finds that the 80-year-old senator from Vermont, who has two credible bids for the Democratic presidential nomination under his belt, has the highest overall favorability among nearly two dozen prospective 2024 contenders from both parties. 

His 46% rating – not exactly stratospheric but better than the others – is thanks to his strength among Democratic voters (78%) paired with his crossover appeal. He is the highest-rated Democrat among independents (at 41%) and among the highest-rated Democrats among Republican voters (at 18%).

Sen. Bernie Sanders scores the highest overall favorability among nearly two dozen prospective 2024 presidential contenders from both parties in a new USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll.

As jockeying for the next presidential race begins, the survey findings are shaped in large part by name ID of the president and former president, senators and governors who just might want to run for the White House. Still, it provides an early scoreboard on which potential contenders voters already know and which ones they like. Or don't.

The online poll of 2,345 adults Aug. 18-22 has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for the full sample. 

2022 Midterm Elections: News, Candidates, Races, Analysis - USA TODAY

Among the findings:

Even match between the big guns

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have identical overall ratings: 43% favorable, 52% unfavorable. Both are widely known and the views of them firmly set. Indeed, who are the 3% of Americans who "aren't at all familiar" with Biden? And the 4% who never heard of Trump? 

Mike Pence's dilemma

Trump's vice president has split with his former boss over his demands to try to overturn the results of the 2020 election. That seems to have boosted views of him among Democratic voters and independents (both at 30%), but it is costing him among Republican voters. One in 4, 25%, have an unfavorable view of him. 

Strength across the aisle for Klobuchar, Cheney

The other Democrat with the highest rating among Republican voters is Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar at 19%. The Republican with the highest rating among Democratic voters? There's no contest: Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, whose opposition to Trump cost her the GOP nomination this month for another term. Her 63% favorable rating among Democrats is more than triple her standing among fellow Republicans, at 20%.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar addresses the 2021 Presidential Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol.

What was your name again?

Some of the Republicans who have signaled possible interest in a presidential bid have a lot of people still to meet. A majority of GOP voters aren't familiar with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, former Maryland governor Larry Hogan or South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.

Favorite and least favorite

The politician on the list with the best net rating, of plus 6 points, was Klobuchar, at 29%-23% among all Americans. The one with the worst by far was Marjorie Taylor Greene, the firebrand Georgia congresswoman, underwater by 16 points at 20%-36%.

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