Will Super Tuesday voters show ahead of likely 2020 rematch?

  • 59% of Americans don't watch a rematch of the 2020 presidential election
  • One-third of the nation's delegates are up for grabs Tuesday
  • Voting will take place in 15 states and 1 U.S. territory
FILE - A voter places a ballot in a drop box outside the Denver Elections Division headquarters Nov. 8, 2022, in downtown Denver. The nation's cybersecurity agency is launching a program aimed at boosting election security in the states, shoring up support for local offices and hoping to provide reassurance to voters that this year's presidential elections will be safe and accurate. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

FILE – A voter places a ballot in a drop box outside the Denver Elections Division headquarters Nov. 8, 2022, in downtown Denver. The nation’s cybersecurity agency is launching a program aimed at boosting election security in the states, shoring up support for local offices and hoping to provide reassurance to voters that this year’s presidential elections will be safe and accurate. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

(NewsNation) — An overwhelming number of Americans are not looking forward to a November rematch between President Joe Biden and Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election, but that hasn’t stopped voters from turning out so far.

That could continue on Super Tuesday, when voters in 15 states and the U.S. territory of American Samoa will head to the ballot box with one-third of the nation’s delegates up for grabs. However, one of the biggest days of the election cycle arrives amid a recent NewsNation Decision Desk poll that showed that nearly 60% of Americans don’t favor another showdown between Trump and Biden, whose approval rating has dipped to just 38%.

Historically, voters have slowed to go to the polls in the previous three presidential rematches. If Biden and Trump emerge as their respective party’s candidates as expected, they would join three former elections in which the two previous candidates again sought victory.

In the first three cases, 1892 (Grover Cleveland vs. Benjamin Harrison), 1900 (William McKinley vs. William Jennings Bryant), and 1956 (Dwight D. Eisenhower vs. Adlai Stevenson) voter turnout was lower than in the first head-to-head matchup.

Many experts believe that could be the case again in 2024.

“These are two well-known individuals, and most people’s views are made up about them,” William Howell, a professor in American politics at the University of Chicago told The Hill. “And so, the relevant question isn’t for the vast, vast, vast majority of people, ‘Do I vote for Trump, or do I vote for Biden?’ It’s, ‘Do I vote at all?’

Despite a high level of apathy about what could be coming in November, voters in states that have already held presidential primaries are still showing up to cast votes heading into Super Tuesday.

That includes South Carolina, where a record number of voters (757,000) showed up to the polls in support of Trump, who has built a commanding lead over former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Although those who voted represent just 23% of the state’s registered voters, they shattered the previous record for voter turnout set in 2016.

Records were also set in New Hampshire, where nearly 318,000 Republicans and independents voted in that state’s primary. The turnout topped the 298,000 that showed up in 2020 when U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders was battling former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Voters didn’t show up as much in other states like Michigan, where 1.8 million went to the ballot box, including 1.1 million Republicans. Like in South Carolina, Trump won convincingly in Michigan — a state he lost in the 2020 general election after claiming the state in 2016.

Comparatively, 740,000 Democrats voted in the Michigan primary in which Biden struggled due to a campaign led by Arab Americans who vowed not to vote for Biden over his handling of the Israel-Hamas war.

Voter turnout in Michigan was down from 2020 (2.3 million) and 2016 (2.6 million), but numbers were up compared to 2012 (1.2 million) and 2008 (1.5 million). Voters in Iowa also dropped drastically as 110,000 voters turned out in blizzard-like conditions.

The turnout represents only 15% of the state’s 752,000 registered Republicans compared to the record number of 187,000 voters who showed up to vote in the primary election in 2016. The low turnout was the lowest in decades as both the 2012 election (122,000) and 2008 (120,000) showed up to vote.

ABC News reported that voter turnout has jumped since Trump won the White House in 2016. According to U.S. Census data, 67% of eligible voters did so in 2020, which was the highest since 1992. In the 2022 mid-term elections, 52% of voters showed up at the polls; a slight drop from 2018 when 53% of voters showed up in the highest turnout in a mid-term election since 1978.

But whether that trend continues could be in question heading into what could be the longest general election season coming out of Super Tuesday.

“It’s almost a cruel joke on the electorate that the longest presidential election potentially ever might also be the one that they’re least excited about,” according to one Democratic pollster, who spoke anonymously to ABC News.

2024 Election

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