Another reason for the GOP to dump Donald Trump: A new CNN poll asks how the president would fare in a hypothetical general election matchup with several different candidates. The non-Trump Republicans, per the poll, are a better matchup against Biden.
Trump Just Got Some Bad News
Most polls taken of the 2024 general election, at least so far, have only asked whether voters favor Joe Biden or Donald Trump, with most such polls showing the race very close. Most either show a Biden-Trump race tied, or one candidate or the other leading by 1 or 2 points. Occasionally a poll will show how Biden would fare against Ron DeSantis, but mostly it’s Trump vs. Biden, which most expect will ultimately be the presidential race once again.
A new CNN poll, produced in conjunction with SSRS, shows how Biden would do against both Trump, as well as several other Republicans. And the answers are somewhat surprising.
In the poll, Biden and Trump are nearly tied, with the ex-president showing 47 percent and the president at 46 percent.
But the other Republicans fare better in the poll. Biden trails Nikki Haley 46-43, and Mike Pence 46-44, which is also the amount by which the president trails Tim Scott. Biden is behind Chris Christie 44-42. However, the current president is tied with Ron DeSantis at 47 percent, while Biden leads Vivek Ramaswamy 46-45.
Now, there are some caveats that apply here. The poll questions are being asked over a year before the election (the dates of the poll were August 25-31.) Those answering are being asked the questions on a theoretical basis, as opposed to making their voting choice at the end of a long general election campaign. A long, real-life presidential campaign between, say, Biden and DeSantis would probably play out very differently than the split-second question, in August 2023, of which candidate voters prefer.
“Views of Biden’s performance in office and on where the country stands are deeply negative in the new poll,” CNN said in its story about the poll. “His job approval rating stands at just 39%, and 58% say that his policies have made economic conditions in the US worse, up 8 points since last fall. Seventy percent say things in the country are going badly, a persistent negativity that has held for much of Biden’s time in office, and 51% say government should be doing more to solve the nation’s problems.”
Also, the poll found that while Biden has only token primary opposition, two-thirds of Democrats wish they could have another candidate.
“A broad 67% majority of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters now say it’s very or extremely likely that Biden will again be the party’s presidential nominee, up from 55% who felt that way in May. But 67% also say the party should nominate someone other than Biden – up from 54% in March, though still below the high of 75% who said they were seeking an alternative last summer.”
Still, should anything be gleaned from the poll, it’s that perhaps the GOP would be better off with a candidate who is not Donald Trump.
What should Democrats conclude from the CNN poll, and others like it that show a close race?
Journalist Paul Waldman wrote an op-ed for MSNBC this week looking at that question.
“To be clear, just as I could explain why Trump is in a relatively strong position, I could also offer many good reasons why Biden has the advantage in the general election, and why the most likely outcome may be a repeat of 2020, which he won rather handily. At this time 12 years ago, Barack Obama trailed slightly in the polls, and he won comfortably the following year. The odds are still ever so slightly in Biden’s favor… exercise your reason, stay informed, understand what’s happening in all its detail. But at those times when you want to scream in fear and anger, don’t think you’re being foolish or irrational. It just means you can see what’s in front of you.”
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.