Bad news arrived for President Joe Biden over the weekend. An ABC News/Washington Post poll found that Biden is unpopular on multiple fronts, and that Trump may well be the frontrunner in a 2024 general election rematch.
“President Joe Biden’s job approval rating is 19 points underwater,” ABC reported. “His ratings for handling the economy and immigration are at career lows. A record number of Americans say they’ve become worse off under his presidency, three-quarters say he’s too old for another term and Donald Trump is looking better in retrospect – all severe challenges for Biden in his reelection campaign ahead.”
A Look at the Numbers
The poll numbers have no doubt inspired concern within Biden’s camp. Fifty-four percent of respondents said they are worse off financially since Biden assumed office. That is the worst score for any president since 1986. Only 30 percent of respondents approved of Biden’s economic performance. Only 37 percent of respondents approve of Biden’s overall job performance — an abysmal score, even in our era of hyperpartisan allegiance.
Biden’s lowest approval ratings did not relate to the economy, however, but to immigration. With respect to handling immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, Biden’s approval rating sits at just 23 percent.
The poll also found that the vast majority of respondents were concerned with Biden’s age. Seventy-four percent said that Biden is too old for a second term. Meanwhile, only 50 percent of respondents said that Trump, who is just four years younger than Biden, is too old for a second term.
Trump in Retrospect
Former President Donald Trump’s camp is likely celebrating the poll, which shows Trump’s national perception is improving in retrospect.
“When [Trump] reluctantly left office in January 2021, 38% approved of his work as president, essentially the same as Biden’s rating now,” ABC reported. “But currently, looking back, 48% say they approve of Trump’s performance when he was in office – matching his peak as president.”
The numbers bode well for a candidate who is cruising toward a third consecutive GOP nomination.
The 2024 Election
The ABC poll will be dissected for what it may or may not suggest about the upcoming 2024 election. The numbers suggest that Biden has a problem. Indeed, the poll asked Democrats whether they believed Biden should be the Democratic nominee in 2024, and a stunning 62 percent said no.
“Who if not Biden, is an open question,” ABC reported. “In an open-ended question, 8% express a preference for Kamala Harris, 8% for Bernie Sanders and 7% for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., with other mentions in the low single digits. Just ‘someone else’ comes in at 20%.”
Trump, meanwhile, enjoys stronger intraparty support, with 54 percent of Republicans backing Trump for the nomination, despite the depth of the field. The only other GOP candidate in double-digits was Ron DeSantis with 15 percent.
Why so Bad for Biden?
ABC tried to rationalize the findings of their poll: “A variety of factors may be at play. Biden’s poor performance ratings, the extent of economic discontent, the immigration crisis and doubts about his age clearly are relevant.”
“Trump, meanwhile, has used his criminal indictments to bolster his base through claims of political persecution and enjoys positive coverage of his GOP frontrunner status,” ABC reported.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.
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