Berkeley poll shows California voters do not want 2024 Biden-Trump rematch

The race for the White House is still two years away, but many California voters already have made up their minds about another Biden-Trump showdown in 2024.

A Berkeley IGS Poll released Friday shows 71% of California voters do not want former president Donald Trump to run again.

Also, 61% of California voters do not want President Joe Biden to run again.

"This is a state which Biden won by 25 points," said Mark DiCamillo, the UC Berkeley IGS Poll Director, "It's interesting that an incumbent President wouldn't have the backing of a solidly blue Democratic state."

The Berkeley IGS Poll director Mark DiCamillo says another surprise is the list of favorite presidential candidates among Democrats and no party preference voters.

"It's interesting that Governor Newsom actually was at the top of the list. He and Bernie Sanders very close at the first choice preference," said DiCamillo.

Vice-President Kamala Harris was third place behind them.

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"She's apparently the heir-apparent being the Vice-President if Biden were not to run, so it's a surprisingly weak showing for Kamala Harris in her home state," said DiCamillo.

Among California Republicans, Trump leads the field with support coming mostly from strong conservatives and voters who've completed up to a high school degree, with 38% of California Republicans picking Trump as their first choice.

The poll shows 27% of California Republicans favor Florida Governor Ron Desantis.

"Desantis would be a formidable challenge to Trump if he were to run in the primary here," said DiCamillo, "If you take Trump off the list, they pretty much coalesce around DeSantis and make him the odds-on favorite. They don't go to Pence. They don't go to Nikki Haley."

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"The No Party Preference voters. It's one of the fastest-growing parts of the California electorate. About a quarter of all voters are No Party Preference. And they're 2:1 against Biden running again in 2024. They certainly are not supportive of Trump either," said DiCamillo, "Those voters have influence, and they're up for grabs because they're not pure partisans."

Voters are presenting a complicated picture for pollsters for the 2024 race, with so many rejecting a Trump and Biden rematch.

"Probably somebody different than either of them. Not that I have anything against Biden," said Frances Watkins of Los Angeles, "His Vice-President, Kamala Harris, yeah, she should probably be doing it."

"Gavin Newsom. I believe he's done really good things for our state," said Jan Hanken, a San Rafael No Party Preference Voter who prefers Newsom to other candidates. 

Hanken said she is open to any other candidate who might be able to defeat Trump if he runs.

"If the Democratic candidate doesn't look like they can win, I would possibly vote for Liz Cheney," said Hanken.

"I like Pete Buttigieg. I'm also a little open-minded. I think it'd be great to see Mitt Romney run again," said Erin Ewing, a Corte Madera voter who says she is a registered Democrat and also is open to crossing party lines.

"I'd like to see some moderates to come in on either party, just to have more opportunities, more choices. Something that's not similar to things we've seen in previous years," said Ed Ewing another Corte Madera voter.

"I think the midterms are going to be important," said DiCamillo, saying Biden could decide to run if Democrats keep control of Congress. If they lose control, however, that could change the scenario.

"If he loses both the House and the Senate I that would be a negative and might increase the pressure for him not to run, because his coattails aren't that long," said DiCamillo.