Joe Biden is unpopular, and so is Donald Trump – these are the reasons

Biden versus Trump – the US election is a duel between unpopular presidential candidates. The two have more in common than it seems at first glance. But the similarities speak against the candidates.

It had been apparent for months – now it is clear: the candidates for the US presidential election in the fall are Joe Biden and Donald Trump. A duel that many in the USA would not have actually wanted to see again. The majority of Americans dislike both candidates.

There is even a whole group of voters that the US media calls “double haters” – who hate both candidates. It could come down to them in the end. Five reasons that speak against Biden and Trump.

Joe Biden:

  1. Old: The US President is 81 years old, at the end of a second term he would be 86. He repeatedly makes slips of the tongue and mixes things up, which his rival in particular likes to accuse him of. Russia's war in Ukraine becomes the war in Iraq, the president of Egypt becomes the president of Mexico, and Chancellor Angela Merkel becomes former Chancellor Helmut Kohl. This is not going down well with voters. In an NBC News poll in February, 62 percent of respondents agreed that they were “very concerned” about Biden's mental and physical fitness. Although according to his doctors he is fit for the job.
  2. He is unpopular: Biden was also nominated by his party in 2020 because most people could agree on him. But his greatest asset seems to have turned against him four years later. A sitting president could – indeed should – have better poll numbers. But the majority of US voters do not like Biden. According to “Five Thirty Eight”, a portal that compiles opinion polls and combines them into its own indices, an average of 55 percent of those surveyed have a negative opinion of Biden. A poll last year also showed that if voters under 30 had the choice between Biden and any other candidate, 58 percent would choose the unknown.
  3. Middle East politics: His stance in the conflict between Israel and the terrorist organization Hamas is increasingly becoming a problem for Biden. Critics accuse him of not doing enough to advocate for a ceasefire and of not providing enough support to the population in the Gaza Strip. Some call him “Genocide Joe” – a reference to the genocide accusation against Israel. In the primary election in Michigan, voters registered as Democrats voted “uncommitted” in protest, or “neutral” in German. If he doesn't win back this electorate, it will be difficult on November 5th.
  4. Not left enough for the left: In the last presidential election in 2020, Biden prevailed in the party's internal primaries against decidedly left-wing candidates such as Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The hope at the time was that the moderate Biden could also be electable to conservatives who were against Trump. But leftists accuse him of not doing enough to combat racism and the climate crisis. His Middle East policy is also becoming a problem here, and he has been unable to implement election promises such as student loan forgiveness. Biden has also adopted the phrase most often used by Republicans to “shut down the border” – a point of criticism for some liberals.
  5. He cannot sell his successes: By many criteria, Biden is a successful president. He has passed several bipartisan projects such as the “Inflation Reduction Act”, thereby reducing inflation and reducing unemployment. Salaries are rising, the stock market is rising. But the population does not (yet) notice any significant difference in their wallets. When voters are asked who they think is more economically competent, Trump leads. This means that Biden's administration is currently unable to capitalize on what is probably its biggest plus.

Donald Trump:

  1. Old: Despite all the allegations against Joe Biden, it is often forgotten that Donald Trump will also be 78 years old in the summer. When he took office in 2017, he was the oldest US president ever – until Joe Biden came along. Trump also attracts attention with his misfires. During appearances, he often rants about Barack Obama as the supposed incumbent president, confuses North Korea with China and swaps his former rival Nikki Haley for Democrat Nancy Pelosi. In an ABC poll in February, 62 percent of respondents said they thought Trump was too old.
  2. Trump is also unpopular: Poor poll numbers are another problem that both share. According to the opinion research portal “Five Thirty Eight”, an average of 53 percent of voters have a bad opinion of Donald Trump, and 58 percent criticize his renewed candidacy. The polls show a fundamental problem with this election: The majority of Americans are dissatisfied with both candidates.
  3. Court cases: Fanatical Trump supporters will probably remain loyal to their idol, regardless of the outcome of the four criminal cases for which the ex-president is currently on trial. But the many court appearances are costing Trump valuable campaign time, and the fines already imposed of around half a billion US dollars are tarnishing his image as a corporate tycoon. In addition, there is probably the most important trial in which the former president is accused of conspiracy and election fraud. Regardless of the trial, Trump protests his innocence in court and speaks of a political “witch hunt.”
  4. Too radical for the conservatives: Republicans are more united behind their presidential candidate than Democrats. But there is also resistance in the “Grand Old Party”. Conservative voters have joined forces in “Republican Voters against Trump” and are mobilizing: “I am a conservative Republican,” says Dave from Pennsylvania, for example. “But I cannot stand the lies, the fraud and the illegal activities that Trump has committed.” Former party greats such as Liz Cheney also publicly criticized him, and after withdrawing as a candidate, Nikki Haley did not, as usual, call on her electorate to vote for the winning competitor.
  5. He insults groups of voters: The ex-president is currently benefiting from a phenomenon that the US media is calling “Trump amnesia”. Some voters seem to have forgotten the chaos of his presidency – they may also care less about it. But he regularly insulted and alienated relevant groups of voters: women, queer people or people with a migration background, and employees in authorities. “They know what they don't like about Biden, and they've forgotten what they don't like about Trump,” Republican consultant Sarah Longwell told the New York Times. But that could change if Trump is back in the spotlight again with his candidacy secured.

Sources: “New York Times”, NYT Poll, NBC News, Five Thirty Eight, “Guardian”, Vox, ABC, NYT 2, “Vanity Fair”, Politico