Joe Biden's Latest Election Challenge

New poll highlights growing challenges for Biden's presidency.

by Nouman Rasool
Joe Biden's Latest Election Challenge
© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In a recent development that has caught the attention of political analysts and voters alike, a New York Times/Siena College poll reveals a shifting landscape in the upcoming 2024 presidential election. The survey, which engaged 980 registered voters across the United States from February 25 to February 28, uncovers a notable swing in voter sentiment, positioning Donald Trump ahead of President Joe Biden among those deemed "likely" to cast their ballots next November.

The poll's findings indicate a 5-point advantage for Trump, the presumed Republican candidate, who leads with 48% compared to Biden's 43%. This marks a 3-point increase in Trump's favor since a December survey, further intensifying the competitive edge in the GOP's favor.

Notably, among the segment of participants identified as "likely" voters, Trump's lead extends to 4 points (48% to 44%), underscoring a potential pivot in the electorate's preferences as the race progresses. This reversal of fortunes is particularly stark when juxtaposed with December's New York Times/Siena survey results.

Previously, despite trailing in broader polling, Biden managed to edge out Trump among those expressing a high likelihood of voting (47% to 45%). However, concerns surrounding Biden's age, cognitive capabilities, and sagging approval ratings have since cast shadows over his campaign for reelection, despite the absence of medical evidence supporting these apprehensions.

In response to these latest poll results, Biden's campaign was approached for comment, highlighting the growing scrutiny of his presidency's direction.

Biden's Approval Dilemma

Adding to the president's challenges, the poll reveals that a staggering 47% of respondents "strongly" disapprove of his job performance, the highest disapproval rate recorded by The New York Times/Siena during his term.

This sentiment reflects a broader dissatisfaction that could influence voter turnout and enthusiasm in the upcoming election. Experts, including Christopher Borick from Muhlenberg College, suggest that while "likely" voters have historically leaned towards Biden, the actual election outcome remains uncertain, especially if voter turnout diminishes from 2020 levels.

The dynamic of voter enthusiasm—or the lack thereof—further complicates the electoral landscape. The poll shows only 23% of Democratic primary voters express enthusiasm for Biden, contrasted with 48% of Republicans who are energized about Trump's candidacy.

The enthusiasm gap, coupled with Biden's struggle to maintain his 2020 voter base—83% retention rate versus 10% potential deflection to Trump—paints a challenging picture for the incumbent. In contrast, a robust 97% of Trump's previous voters are poised to support him once again, emphasizing the solidified base the Republican enjoys.

Joe Biden