In a sign that Joe Biden has staying power, he is showing that he is still likable despite worries about his advanced age, foibles in public, and unpopular policy decisions on issues such as inflation and illegal immigration.
The president is still polling well against Donald Trump. A recent poll has Biden beating Trump nationwide by seven points.
Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump: What’s the Score?
A survey by WPA Intelligence found that Joe Biden led Trump 47 to 40 percent.
This comes on the heels of Trump’s appearance in a recent townhall televised by CNN where Republicans believed the former president excelled, while Democrats were hopping mad that the event gave Trump the opportunity to espouse various falsehoods.
Biden had an opportunity to say, “I told you so” after the CNN forum and implored his supporters to fight against MAGA extremism.
Trump had also been found negligent in a defamation suit that alleged he raped a newspaper columnist in a department store during the mid-1990s.
Biden Attracts More Independents
The WPA Intelligence poll also revealed that Biden is doing better with Independents compared to the last survey the firm conducted. Biden won Independents by 14 percentage points this month. WPA Intelligence questioned 1,571 registered voters and the margin of error was 2.5 percent.
Twelve percent of those surveyed were undecided, which shows that a substantial number of voters may prefer other people to run for president.
Biden also had an above average approval rating of 46 percent, which is higher than what he normally polls. Aggregator FiveThirtyEight usually has the president scoring approvals in the high 30s and low 40s.
This is good news for the president as a shock poll from ABC and the Washington Post in early May had Trump up by seven points from voters who were likely to vote in 2024. This survey found Biden’s approval rating down to a dismal 36 percent.
Polling Could Be Off
Both polls are probably outliers, and the race could be closer if you split the difference between the two surveys. But it shows the race is volatile at this point and is still difficult to predict. Polling has been criticized in past elections, especially in 2016, when most pollsters predicted a win by Hillary Clinton. Also, some Trump supporters refuse to speak to interviewers in the first place and this can skew results toward an oversampling of Democrats.
Who Will Win the Debt Talks?
Meanwhile, Joe Biden looks to build on this momentum during the debt ceiling talks with Republican lawmakers and their aides. This is the most critical negotiation of his presidency as progressives in his own party are imploring the president to refrain from giving in to Republican demands for budget cuts. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have also dug in their heels and want to tame sky-high budget deficits and debt.
Democrats may point to this poll that shows the American people prefer Biden when push comes to shove and that people are in favor of more “Bidenomics” with heavy Keynesian government spending as the proper way to lead the economy. Republicans believe that out-of-control expenditures in Washington have led to inflation.
The ABC-Washington Post poll seems to agree with Republican criticisms of Bidenomics as 54 percent of voters chose Trump as a better steward of the economy.
But it will be Independent voters who will become the ultimate deciders in 2024 and Biden is doing better than Trump with this group of centrists.
WPA pollster Amanda Iovino said, “It’s clear from the data that Trump’s standing with Independents has weakened considerably since the 2020 election and that he has failed to attract new voters. This should surprise no one, as it is entirely consistent with last year’s election results among Trump-backed candidates in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and other states.”
That means polls at the state level in swing states will become more important than national polls as the election season heats up. Moreover, Trump may be dominating many surveys now for the Republican nomination but that could change as he faces more legal tripwires in the future.
Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.