CNN —  Donald Trump’s voters get all the attention. But it’s Joe Biden’s who may decide the general election.

A historic rematch for the White House between the ex-president and the current president — which few Americans seem to relish — is coming into view given Trump’s early dominance of the Republican primary process

Ever since Trump burst into national politics in 2015, academics, journalists and political professionals have devoted extraordinary efforts to understanding the economic, ideological, emotional and patriotic motivations of his ultra-loyal “Make America Great Again” followers. But there is a strong case that it will be the more diverse groups of voters who chose Biden in 2020 who hold the key to November’s election, depending on their level of enthusiasm and shifting political priorities.

Democratic political operatives admit Biden faces a tough mission.

The former president’s supporters are enthusiastic and up for the fight, and he’s sporting a far more formidable political operation than he did in either 2016 or 2020, which he will use to try to expand his pool of tens of millions of Republican voters. Local Republican officials are predicting that Biden’s hopes will be complicated by the return of many Republicans who were repulsed by the ex-president’s conduct in 2020, but who now view his presidency more warmly and have been repelled by what they see as the current president’s march to the left.

Trump’s ascent — which is remarkable given his quagmire of legal threats and his assault on democracy in 2021 — is coinciding with rising concern among Democrats about the durability of the support base that carried Biden to the White House three years ago. This time, Biden faces the complications of incumbency, when he will be judged on his own record – unlike in 2020 when he exploited the chaotic pandemic leadership of a president who mused on camera whether injecting disinfectant could cure Covid-19.

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