“It’s the economy, stupid!”
Political pundit James Carville’s oft-quoted remarks ring true in any election, particularly when Americans are feeling the strain on their bank accounts. A strategist for the Bill Clinton campaign, Carville’s famous quote capitalized on a post-recession United States to secure Clinton his first term in office.
The economy is important to all Americans, and one any prospective candidate must consider when running for an election. For President Joe Biden, that’s bad news.
A new CBS News/YouGov poll found that 45 percent of Americans believe they’ll be better off under Republican frontrunner Donald Trump were he to win the election, compared to 18 percent who said the same about the incumbent. Nearly half (48 percent) believed they’d be worse off under the Democrat (32 percent for Trump), while one-third (34 percent) said their financial situation would remain the same should the President secure re-election.
Foreign Policy Concerns
Of course, there are other factors to consider, particularly in a world with two major conflicts involving Western allies. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine is ongoing, with Israel involved in a conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Both conflicts have escalated during Biden’s presidency, something which is being recognized in the polls. A full 49 percent of respondents said the chances of the U.S. being involved in a war would increase under a second term for the Democrat compared to 39 percent who said the same about Trump. Less than a quarter (23 percent) said a Biden re-election would decrease the chances of U.S. involvement in a foreign conflict, 20 percentage points less than the former president. Furthermore, just under half (47 percent) said the likely Republican nominee would increase world peace and stability, while 31 percent said the same about Biden.
An incumbent president hopeful of re-election needs a decreasing number of Americans to view the country’s future favorably. Sadly for Biden, that’s not the case. The poll found that 73 percent of respondents said things are going badly in America, the highest proportion so far this year and up eight percentage points from January.
Overall, Trump leads Biden by 51 percent to 48 percent, echoing similar polls in recent weeks as the Republican continues to build on the momentum he’s cherished for much of 2023.
While the nation may not be enthralled by the likely prospect of a 2020 electoral rematch, Democrats are far more pessimistic. Three-quarters (74 percent) said they were nervous about a Biden v Trump rematch next year, with less than two-fifths expressing a hopeful outlook. Likely Republican voters have a different viewpoint, with 64 percent stating they are hopeful for next November’s election.
This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,636 U.S. adult residents interviewed between October 30th and November 3rd, 2023. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as past votes. The margin of error is ±2.6 points.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.