Key Insights from Recent Polls Highlighting the Hurdles for Biden and Trump's Promising Path to Victory

Key Insights from Recent Polls Highlighting the Hurdles for Biden and Trump's Promising Path to Victory

New polls reveal Biden's challenges and Trump's potential victory path, as Democrats face an uphill battle in state races Economic concerns, age factor, global instability, historical patterns, and a sense of malaise may pave the way for Trump

Tuesday's state races proved to be a significant moment for Democrats, shedding light on the challenges that Joe Biden may encounter in 2024. Recent polls indicate that he is significantly less popular than his own party, thus raising doubts about the possibility of a second term for the soon-to-be 81-year-old president. Additionally, Biden is witnessing a decline in support from crucial younger and minority voters, while Democratic candidates in the upcoming 2023 elections are successfully addressing issues that strike a chord with the public.

According to a recent CNN/SSRS survey, ex-President Donald Trump is currently leading Biden by 49% to 45%, posing a significant challenge for the president. However, a closer analysis of the data reveals troubling obstacles for Biden and reinforces the notion that despite the chaos and mismanagement of Trump's first term, the GOP front-runner has a strong likelihood of securing a second term.

The survey highlights widespread dissatisfaction among the public with Biden's performance as president, particularly in relation to his economic optimism, which is failing to resonate with a disillusioned nation burdened by high prices. Furthermore, the poll uncovers divisions within Biden's diverse Democratic coalition and exposes a lack of confidence in his ability to lead in a world fraught with conflict. Most significantly, the data reveals that only a quarter of Americans believe Biden possesses the necessary stamina and mental acuity to effectively serve as president.

Key Insights from Recent Polls Highlighting the Hurdles for Biden and Trump's Promising Path to Victory

This September 2020 file photos presents Donald Trump, on the left, and Joe Biden engaging in the first presidential debate held at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio.

Patrick Semansky/AP

CNN Poll: Trump narrowly leads Biden in hypothetical rematch

Following recent New York Times/Siena College polling over the weekend, which revealed Trump's significant leads in the swing states pivotal to the outcome of the 2024 election, this survey has caused Democrats to once again question whether Biden should have pursued a second term, despite the absence of a viable challenger within the party's new generation.

Interestingly, Biden's underwhelming polling numbers stand in contrast to the Democrats' successful election night on Tuesday. Ohio voters solidified abortion rights in the state constitution, while Democratic Governor Andy Beshear secured a second term in "deep red" Kentucky, as projected by CNN. Additionally, Democrats gained control of the Virginia state House, dealing a blow to Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin and giving them full control of the commonwealth's legislature.

Polls may be underestimating the Democrats' strength under Biden, as seen in the previous midterm elections where a potential Republican surge was thwarted. "Voters vote. Polls don't. Now, let's aim for victory in the upcoming year," Biden shared on X, seeking acknowledgment for Tuesday's outcomes and to fuel his 2024 campaign.

However, there is an alternative interpretation of Tuesday's results. Biden seems to be less favored compared to certain policies and candidates within his own party, suggesting the potential for someone else to be more effective in maintaining Democratic unity in the coming year.

Four years ago, Biden portrayed himself as a composed, earnest leader capable of restoring a sense of normalcy following a devastating pandemic that ravaged the economy and a divisive Trump administration threatening national unity. However, achieving that restoration has proven elusive with an economy that, although resilient, has not provided the anticipated relief for many Americans. Despite Biden's acknowledgment of a poisoned political climate filled with "racism, nativism, fear, and demonization" in his inaugural address, it appears to have potentially worsened almost three years later.

The notable distinction between the past and the present lies in how Biden is no longer being compared to Trump and the chaos he caused. Instead, voters are evaluating Biden based on his political track record, adherence to his promises, and his personal demeanor. As the upcoming election approaches, it is evident that the country is not receiving what it desires.

The top Democrats are optimistic about Bidens chances of being reelected, according to CNN's report on Tuesday. They believe that voters will once again observe a stark contrast between Bidens efforts to restore the soul of America and the extremist anti-democratic agenda of his predecessors, who vowed to seek "retribution" against their enemies during a second term. If Trump becomes the Republican nominee, there may be some truth to this argument. Despite his social media tirades, Trump has not been an overwhelming presence in the daily lives of most Americans for years. For instance, the public did not witness the tantrums, rage, and venom he displayed during his off-camera civil fraud trial in New York on Monday. However, once he returns to the public eye on a regular basis, the behavior that turned off many voters in the crucial swing states' critical suburbs could potentially once again erode Trump's poll numbers.

Key Insights from Recent Polls Highlighting the Hurdles for Biden and Trump's Promising Path to Victory

President Joe Biden addresses leaders from the Western Hemisphere at the White House during the inaugural Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity Leaders' Summit on Friday, November 3, 2023, in Washington.

Biden's allies are searching for positive aspects amid the alarm caused by underwhelming polls. Additionally, Biden surpassed the expectations of most political analysts by skillfully presenting last year's midterm elections as a verdict on what he refers to as the "MAGA-extremism" within the GOP under Trump's leadership. This accusation could have an even greater impact if the former president becomes the party's top candidate. Furthermore, it is uncertain how the political landscape would be affected by a potential future president who faces four criminal trials, some of which are scheduled for the election year. The possibility that one of the major parties could nominate a convicted felon as their candidate for commander in chief has never been a consideration for Americans. Given that a year is a substantial amount of time, there is also the potential for improvement in Americans' perception of the economy, which could bolster Biden's position.

The age issue

CNN's poll on Tuesday revealed concerning signs for the President's chances of reelection, indicating that the 2024 race will likely be more complex than what Biden's team anticipates. In light of this, there are five potential factors that could pose challenges for Biden.

Concerns over Joe Biden's age and ability to perform the duties of president are a primary focus for voters, particularly as he struggles to connect with younger voters who are crucial for Democratic turnout. Biden's subdued and hesitant rhetoric lacks enthusiasm. The combination of age, personal tragedy, and the demands of the presidency have transformed him from the cheerful and sociable senator he once was. Despite embarking on bold foreign policy trips to conflict zones like Ukraine and Israel, the public does not perceive him as vigorous, even though Biden may be physically fitter than Trump, which is arguable.

In contrast, the former president, who is also 77 years old, does not face the same concerns. His self-centered and frenetic energy has convinced voters that he is physically capable of handling the job, despite his often incoherent public statements upon closer examination. According to a CNN poll, only 25% of voters believe Biden has the necessary stamina and mental acuity to effectively serve as president, while 53% believe Trump does. These concerns about Biden's capabilities are bipartisan, with only around half of Democrats believing in his stamina and sharpness.

If age is indeed a barrier for numerous voters, there is limited action the president can take.

Economic perceptions are hurting Biden

He will reach the age of 82 after the election and would be 86 before the possible conclusion of a second term. The CNN poll encapsulates this potential dilemma for voters. Should they be compelled to select a president whom only a quarter of them believe is capable of fulfilling the job requirements, just to evade the upheaval, decay of democratic values, and anger that would ensue from another Trump term?

The failure of President Biden's strategy, known as "Bidenomics," which emphasizes strong job and economic growth numbers as well as a historic infrastructure package, is evident. Despite positive economic indicators, a sense of discontent is leading voters to feel nostalgic for the Trump economy. A survey conducted by The New York Times in battleground states shows that Trump is leading Biden by significant margins, further indicating dissatisfaction with the current state of the economy. Only 19% of respondents across the surveyed states consider the economy to be excellent or good.

Although Democrats are hopeful that high interest rates will diminish next year, providing relief to families struggling with car loans, mortgages, and credit card debt, Biden is already on the brink of an economic crisis. Additionally, his low national approval rating of 39% in the CNN poll suggests that any economic downturn next year would be catastrophic for his administration. Despite Biden's efforts to reform the economy in favor of working Americans, such as his plans to revive manufacturing, create an American semi-conductor chip industry, lower prescription drug prices, and invest heavily in green energy, there is a prevalent feeling that he has lost control of the economy. This sentiment persists even though inflation has significantly decreased since its post-pandemic peak. Americans continue to express dissatisfaction with high prices for essential items like eggs and milk, creating a disconnect between Biden's optimistic view of the economy and the everyday experiences of the American people.

Former Democratic Representative Tim Ryan criticized the White House's economic strategy, stating that it is not only falling short but actively damaging President Biden. Ryan believes that Biden's messaging on the economy, where he tells people they are doing better than they actually are, is ineffective. On Tuesday, the former Ohio lawmaker, who believes Biden should not seek another term, expressed the need to address people's concerns about rising prices for bacon, gas, groceries, and rent. It is crucial to focus on these issues.

A world spinning out of control

In the midst of global turmoil – with Israel's conflict against Hamas, Russia's aggression in Ukraine, and China's challenge to US global power – Biden's claimed foreign policy expertise is proving ineffective. Voters perceive Trump as a stronger leader, indicating that forceful rhetoric and intimidation are more persuasive than Biden's nuanced approach. The CNN poll revealed that only 36% of respondents consider the president to be an effective global leader, while 48% hold the same view of Trump, despite his controversial term during which he alienated US allies and cultivated relationships with dictators.

Moreover, Biden's foreign stances may be negatively impacting his domestic support. Surveys indicate that the president is losing favor among younger voters – a group that has been critical of his unwavering endorsement of Israel's assault on Gaza, which has resulted in the deaths of numerous civilians in response to Hamas terror attacks last month in Israel. The CNN survey disclosed that 47% of these voters support Biden, while 48% back Trump. In the 2020 election, according to exit polls, Biden secured a 21-point advantage with this demographic nationally, although it is important to note that those who actually cast their votes may not necessarily align with registered voters.

History doesnt favor Biden

The assurances given by Democratic leaders that the tide will inevitably shift in favor of Biden due to the advantages of incumbency also disregard the fact that his approval ratings are lagging behind those of previous presidents who won a second term. The comparison is frequently made to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama's re-election campaigns, which overcame early political challenges.

But in November 1995, the approval rating for the 42nd president stood at 52%, while the 44th president's approval rating was at 46% in 2011. Currently, Biden's approval rating lags behind at 39%, which is two points lower than Trump's rating a year before he lost the 2020 election, and only ahead of Jimmy Carter, who served a single term. The polarization of politics has intensified since Obama and Clinton secured their second terms, indicating that it was expected for Biden's approval ratings to be lower. However, this comparison underscores the political challenge that Biden must confront, prompting the question of whether he possesses the campaign skills and vitality to make a comeback.

A sense of malaise could open a path for Trump

Conditions are aligning that may result in the return to power of a president who has been impeached twice and exhibits autocratic tendencies. The public is discontented, with a majority expressing dissatisfaction for the entire duration of Biden's presidency. The negative perception of the economy is likely to exacerbate the public's dissatisfaction. Additionally, Democratic voters appear to be less engaged and enthusiastic compared to Republicans. For instance, the CNN survey reveals that a significantly higher percentage of Republican voters are highly motivated to vote in the upcoming presidential election compared to Democrats. Furthermore, Biden's setbacks are preventing potential Republican candidates from using the argument that he is too compromised to defeat the president in 2024.

Furthermore, Biden's support among crucial demographics of the Democratic coalition has significantly decreased compared to 2020. Although he still leads Trump among Black voters by a margin of 73% to 23%, this is a decrease from his 75-point lead in the previous election. Similarly, Latino voters now only favor Biden over Trump by four points, compared to the significant 33-point lead in 2020. While Biden is currently ahead among independent voters by four points according to the CNN poll, he had previously lost this group to Biden by 13 points in 2020. Many political analysts believe that these numbers are unlikely to be replicated in a general election, where more established patterns may reemerge. However, the president faces a significant risk if disillusioned young and minority voters do not show up at the polls, potentially threatening the narrow margins by which he won key swing states in 2020.

Incumbents always face challenges when voters experience despair due to economic conditions, a general sense of national despondency, and a perception that events are spiraling out of control internationally. Historical evidence suggests that these factors, combined with voter cynicism and a loss of hope, create an environment in which demagogues who promise strong leadership can flourish.

Thats what Trump is counting on. And its what Biden needs to fix.