If a run for the White House were truly a “popularity” contest, both Joe Biden and Donald Trump would be in serious trouble.
A recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll showed that Americans, in general, aren’t especially enthusiastic about a potential 2024 matchup between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. Neither candidate had the support of a majority of voters. In fact, Biden received just 47 percent support to Trump’s 43 percent.
Biden clearly has an edge among voters were the election to be held today – but that would hardly give the sitting president any mandate. In fact, a Reuters/Ipsos poll from earlier this month found that only 40 percent of Americans approved of Biden’s handling his job as president a decline of one percent point from last month – and close to the lowest levels of his time in office.
Reuters further noted that Biden’s rating is essentially identical to Trump’s approval at this point in his presidency.
It is a relatively low number compared to their immediate predecessors, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican George W. Bush. The only “good news” for Biden is that it is slightly improved from his Washington Post/ABC News poll from May that showed he had 36 percent approval and 56 percent disapproval – while Biden’s approval among those under 30 years of age stood at just 26 percent.
Younger voters were crucial to Biden’s victory over Trump in 2020, but once again those under 30 may have been left disillusioned by their candidate’s failure to follow through on lofty promises. Yet, if Biden can’t count on the support of the youth – despite trying to court their vote with promises of eliminating student loan debt – the sitting president seems to fare better with women voters over 50, at least in a match-up against Trump.
An AARP poll found that Biden and Trump are in a virtual deadheat, while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has a slight edge over Biden.
They Just Don’t Like You, Joe!
There is no denying that the United States seems as far from united as at any point in recent history, and the fact remains that neither Trump nor Biden has shown any ability to unify the country. Trump practically goes out of his way to be a divider, and Biden has done much the same – with the latter taking aim at the past administration and its support at every opportunity, and casting blame on many of the current problems.
Voters aren’t buying it.
As political commentator Michael Smerconish explained in a video op-ed for CNN this week, a lot of it has to do with the fact that voters simply don’t like Biden. Smerconish cited Biden’s age, his frequent gaffes, and the ongoing family drama as baggage that is bringing down the president’s poll numbers – as much as his handling of the economy, as well as his domestic and foreign policies.
Smerconish said Biden’s approval – which is “underwater” for being lower than 50 percent – is a reflection of the nation’s ever-widening divide in an era of polarizing media, including social media. He further noted that most Americans are living in an area that was “handily won” by a candidate in a presidential election, suggesting that whether it is online or out in the real world, most voters see only the like-minded. As a result, whoever wins next year’s race for the White House will struggle to have an approval rating above water.
In other words, most Americans don’t like Joe Biden, but the same is true of Donald Trump – and likely will be of any candidate for the foreseeable future.
That’s the sad new reality, and it will likely only get worse as we head into the full-blown campaign season next year.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.