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Two polls show Biden with terrible job approval, real concern about his handling of the economy, and questions about his age

by | Sep 25, 2023

Biden’s job approval sinks to 37%

By Dave Andrusko

Gary Langer is a longtime director of polling at ABC News. Langer goes where the data takes him as opposed to making excuses for Democrats.

Here’s his brutally honest lead for a September 24 story about a poll taken for ABC News/Washington Post:

President Joe Biden’s job approval rating is 19 points underwater, 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.

Virtually everyone who has written about this says the poll is  an “outlier” because it shows Donald Trump ahead of Biden by a whopping nine points: 51% to 42%. A NBC News poll released over the weekend show them tie at 46% each.

We’ll talk about this startling result in a moment. The results on other questions are not terribly surprising: they are a continuation of Biden’s falling marks. Langer writes

Forty-four percent of Americans in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say they’ve gotten worse off financially under Biden’s presidency, the most for any president in ABC/Post polls since 1986. Just 37% approve of his job performance, while 56% disapprove. Still fewer approve of Biden’s performance on the economy, 30%.

Did you get that? “Just 37% approve of his job performance, while 56% disapprove.” Langer continues

In terms of intensity of sentiment, 20% strongly approve of his work overall, while 45% strongly disapprove. And the 74% who say he’s too old for a second term is up 6 percentage points since May.

More than twice as many strongly disapprove [45%] as strongly approve [20%] of Biden’s work overall. Moreover

These views play into early-stage election preferences. A remarkable 62% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say the party should pick someone other than Biden as its nominee in 2024; just a third back Biden. Desire for a different candidate is at a numerical high, but also consistent with past results (56 to 58%) the past year

What about support from racial and ethnic minority groups, essential to Democrats winning elections”?

Biden has just 50% support from members of racial and ethnic minority groups (the same as in May), while Trump has inched up from 32 to 39 to 43% support in this group in this year’s ABC/Post polls. Among Hispanics, it’s a surprising 50-44%, Trump-Biden, albeit with a small sample.

Byron York writes about one other potentially very important result from the NBC News poll:

In addition to asking about a Biden versus Trump scenario, it also asked about Biden versus some other Republican candidates. And when the pollsters asked voters about a contest between Biden and Republican Nikki Haley, Haley came out ahead by 5 points, 46% to 41%. (In the other match polled, Biden vs. Ron DeSantis, Biden edged the Florida governor, 46% to 45%.)

Haley beating Biden by 5 points? That’s news. Maybe even bigger news than Biden trailing Trump by 10 points. It’s news because it suggests Biden’s vulnerability not just to Trump but to at least one other Republican, Haley, whom voters see as a plausible alternative to the current president.

According to NBC News, “[A]ccording to the poll, a combined 74% of registered voters say they have major concerns (59%) or moderate concerns (15%) that Biden, at age 80, doesn’t have the necessary mental and physical health to be president for a second term.”

Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies, who conducted the poll with Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt and his team at Hart Research Associates, said, “This survey is a startling flashing red light for an incumbent party.”

Required caveat. Polls are a “snapshot” of what people are feeling at this moment time which York reminds us “might change significantly in the coming months.”

That notwithstanding, this is very good news!

Categories: Joe Biden
Tags: Joe Biden