Poll results for Vice President Joe Biden keep sinking.
New surveys from the New York Times and Siena College showed Trump ahead in four of the six swing states at the beginning of November, and other signs of Biden’s electoral vulnerability quickly followed. In direct contests with Trump, the president is losing ground. With the exception of two polls, all 13 polls conducted this month show a decline in support for Biden.
And although surveys suggest most of the shift comes from those dumping Biden — who might become undecided but not swing to backing Trump — the Republican has also started to gain pace. The national average for Trump’s vote share in the polls is greater currently than at any time in the prior year.
The figures at the state level are just as eye-opening: Other polls conducted over the last week and a half, in addition to the New York Times/Siena polls, have shown Trump with leads of 8 points in Arizona and 5 points in Michigan.
There are a number of factors that have contributed to Biden’s recent decline, including a lack of support from traditionally reliable Democratic constituencies like young voters, the outbreak of war in the Middle East, and the rise of independent and third-party candidates who could take votes away from both Biden and Trump on Election Day.
The number of young people who no longer support Biden is unknown.
Among those under the age of 35, Trump topped Biden 46% to 42% in an NBC News poll released this week.
Despite the significant margin of error associated with such a tiny sample size, other polls suggest a tight race within a traditionally Democratic voter pool. Biden had just single-digit leads among voters 18-34 in polls this month from Morning Consult (Biden +2), Fox News (Biden +7) and Quinnipiac University (Biden +9). (In all four surveys, Trump had a larger share of the vote than Biden did.)
It’s not the norm, but there are a few polls that show Biden with a lead among young voters that’s comparable to his 2020 margins.
This has sparked a discussion about whether Trump’s polling ratings among young voters are accurate or the result of sampling error. Many people believe that liberal young voters aren’t participating in surveys because they aren’t excited about Biden and his party, in part because of the administration’s backing for Israel in its fight with Hamas.
But Biden has never done well with younger voters despite being the oldest president in American history. And it’s tough to get the attention of younger voters through telephone polls, which are used by all but one of the aforementioned polling companies (Morning Consult).
Biden’s approval ratings are moving lower, while Trump’s vote share is increasing.
Biden’s narrowing lead over Trump is one thing. But these polls also reveal two other trends that bode poorly for the sitting president.
His first-term approval rating, already the lowest of any president in history, has been steadily declining. FiveThirtyEight’s average approval rating for Biden as of earlier this month was 38%, a new low since July 2022. Biden’s average approval rating for this month of 40% was his lowest since August of 2022, according to RealClearPolitics.
In the meantime, support for Trump is growing. Dating back a little more than a year, RealClearPolitics’ average has seen Trump hovering between 42 percent and 46 percent in a head-to-head fight with Biden. Not only did Trump’s approval rating rise above 46% earlier this month, but it rose past 47% this week, roughly equivalent to his vote share in the 2020 race.
Most surveys that give Trump a majority don’t include undecided voters, which is a dubious methodological choice this far out from Election Day and in a hypothetical race between two candidates so loathed by the population. But even surveys that do identify undecided voters show Trump creeping up, including the Fox News survey, which put Trump with a tiny edge over Biden, 50 percent to 46 percent.
Biden’s popularity has been declining for months, and it’s not only in the Middle East.
Any shift in a president’s approval rating is often attributed to breaking news, such as Israel’s conflict with Hamas. However, the truth is more nuanced for Biden.
Since May, Biden’s approval rating has been steadily falling, according to FiveThirtyEight’s average. RealClearPolitics’ stretches back to April.
FiveThirtyEight reports that Trump’s average favourable rating has been on the rise over the previous two months, from 39% on September 1 to 42% as of Wednesday afternoon.
All of America is turning its back on Biden, and that includes the swing states.
The negative news for Biden isn’t isolated to the national surveys. Even after a three-month advertising campaign, the president’s approval rating hasn’t risen.
Television advertisements in battleground states have cost Biden and the Democratic National Committee almost $12 million since mid-August, according to AdImpact. Biden’s weekly expenditures averaged $1 million for most of the autumn, but have recently been slashed in half.