In a closely watched new poll conducted by The New York Times and Siena College, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump find themselves dead even in a hypothetical election contest. Both candidates garnered 43% support from registered voters, setting the stage for yet another intense presidential race. The survey also revealed that 4% of voters would back another candidate, while 6% expressed that they would not vote at all.
Notably, Biden seems to be strengthening his standing within his own party. A previous survey had shown that most Democrats favored a different candidate for their presidential nominee. However, in the current poll, Biden gained ground, securing 64% of Democratic primary voters’ support for the upcoming election. Despite this improvement, the percentage of Democrats planning to vote for Biden in November 2024 stands at 83%, a relatively low number for an incumbent. In contrast, 88% of Republicans plan to back Trump. Among independent voters, Biden holds a slim 42% to 27% lead.
A crucial factor contributing to Biden’s declining popularity is his job approval rating. Only 39% of voters expressed their approval of the president’s performance. The economy plays a significant role in determining presidential job approval, and in this survey, only 20% of respondents rated the economy as excellent or good. The benefits of low unemployment over the past year have been overshadowed by persistent high inflation, which has only started to ease recently.
With the aim of addressing these concerns, the White House has highlighted Biden’s contributions to the economy and his “Bidenomics” agenda. This agenda encompasses a more proactive industrial policy and increased focus on antitrust enforcement.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump maintains a significant lead of 54% to 17% over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis among Republican primary voters. Surprisingly, support for DeSantis has waned in recent months, despite Trump facing mounting legal challenges. These challenges include federal criminal charges for hoarding classified documents after leaving the White House, and the potential for more charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
Trump has transformed his legal troubles into a rallying cry, dubiously claiming that the Biden administration is targeting him unjustly. At a recent rally in Pennsylvania, he stated, “They’re not indicting me. They’re indicting you. I just happen to be standing in the way.”
The New York Times/Siena poll results align with other reputable surveys compiled by the polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight.
It is worth noting that at the age of 80, President Biden is the oldest person to hold the presidency. This fact has sparked doubts among Democratic voters and members of his party about his ability to serve a second term. Last year, Representative Dean Phillips (Minn.) voiced his opinion that Biden should not seek re-election. Phillips is reportedly considering entering the Democratic primary in the event that Biden’s health or his standing in the polls significantly weakens.
The results of this poll set the stage for an exciting and closely contested hypothetical election between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. With significant support from their respective parties and a close divide among independents, the race promises to captivate the nation.