The stakes for American democracy are difficult to overcome, but voters seem little interested in the seemingly inevitable rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election.
“It's hard to get excited about this,” says Keely Catron, a 22-year-old from Arizona, one of the swing states that Biden narrowly won in 2020. “It's frustrating that our only two options are very young men.” old,” he stressed.
The educational sciences student plans to vote again for the 80-year-old Democrat in the November 5, 2024 elections, although without much enthusiasm.
Biden aspires to a second term, without major serious rivals for the Democratic nomination, despite a very low popularity rating in the polls and growing concerns about his age.
Meanwhile, Trump is the clear Republican favorite despite the fact that the 77-year-old former president faces several criminal proceedings, including one for alleged electoral interference.
In the polls they are practically tied and Trump even leads in some of the most recent polls.
The stakes are enormous.
A New York Times editorial predicts that it will be "the most important election since 1860," when Abraham Lincoln was elected president, triggering the American Civil War.
- Little interest -
The United States is still very polarized since Trump tried to overturn the result after being defeated by Biden in 2020 and there are fears that the tension will increase.
America's allies are also watching nervously.
Washington's global role has been highlighted by the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and the war in Ukraine after the Russian invasion.
China, Russia and Iran are trying to forge their version of a new world order that is no longer dominated by the United States.
But voters don't seem to care about this.
Sixty-three percent of Americans said they are dissatisfied with the candidates that have emerged so far, according to a recent Pew Research study, and 65% said they “always or often feel exhausted” when thinking about politics.
More than three in five Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say they prefer a candidate other than Biden, according to a joint survey by ABC and The Washington Post.
Half of Biden supporters and almost three in ten Trump supporters admit they are open to other options, according to a Quinnipiac poll released in September.
Poll after poll shows negative approval ratings for both candidates. They are the oldest nominees in the history of the United States, as they were in 2020.
Each of them tries to capture attention in their own way.
Biden maintains that he is fighting a "battle for the soul of the nation" and warns that Trump's "extremism" threatens American democracy.
His campaign team is confident that this message and his role as a global statesman in the conflicts in Israel and Ukraine will work better with voters than his attempts to sell his “Bidenomics” economic policy.
- "Bad things" -
For his part, Trump has toughened his rhetoric compared to the 2020 post-election period, marked by an attack by his supporters on the Capitol - the seat of Congress - on January 6, 2021 in Washington.
There is a “level of hate that I have never seen,” says Trump, focused on immigration issues and nationalism.
But David Karol, a politics professor at the University of Maryland, downplays the fact that neither candidate arouses much interest in the electorate.
"This thing about people not wanting revenge, if voters really wanted other candidates they could have them," he told AFP.
Democrats have never proposed serious alternatives to Biden, and anti-Covid-19 vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently dropped out of the party race and is running as an independent.
In Republican ranks there are a range of options, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, but they still prefer Trump, he said.
According to Karol, most American voters seem to know who to vote for in this election, the outcome of which will likely depend on a few states, but could change if Trump is convicted in one of his trials.