In the lead-up to the 2024 Presidential election, current President Joe Biden is lagging behind former President Donald Trump in key swing states, according to recent polling data. This data, compiled by The New York Times and Siena College, indicates a growing concern among voters regarding Biden’s age and perceived ineffectiveness in addressing economic and other national issues.
The polling shows Trump holding a lead over Biden in pivotal states such as Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, with margins ranging from four to ten percentage points among registered voters. Biden’s only lead is in Wisconsin, where he is ahead by a narrow two percentage points.
The survey, conducted with 3,662 registered voters between October 22 and November 3, reveals a general sentiment of discontent among the electorate. Many voters feel Biden’s policies have adversely affected them personally. Notably, key demographic groups that significantly supported Biden in the 2020 election show dwindling support. Young voters under 30, Hispanic voters, and urban residents are less decisively in Biden’s corner compared to previous support levels. Interestingly, Black voters, traditionally a strong Democratic demographic, show a 22 percent support level for Trump in these battleground states, a notably high figure for a Republican candidate in recent history.
In terms of popularity, both Biden and Trump are unfavorably viewed by many, but the prevailing national mood of dissatisfaction seems more acutely directed at Biden. Spencer Weiss, a 53-year-old from Pennsylvania, encapsulates this sentiment, expressing disappointment in Biden’s leadership and a reluctant preference for Trump.
With a year until the election, Biden faces challenges but also opportunities. Despite a struggling approval rating, Biden’s campaign is well-funded, and he has time to address his weaknesses. However, the poll indicates Biden starts at a disadvantage, even considering Trump’s legal challenges and indictments.
A striking finding from the poll is the widespread belief among voters across all income brackets that Biden’s policies have been detrimental to them, while Trump’s policies are viewed more favorably.
Age is a significant concern for voters regarding Biden, with 71 percent considering him “too old” to be an effective president. This perception spans across demographic and geographic lines, including among some of Biden’s own supporters. In contrast, a smaller percentage view Trump, who is 77, as too old.
The economy emerges as a crucial issue, with a significant portion of voters expressing more trust in Trump’s handling of economic matters. This preference crosses gender, educational, age, and income divides. Economic concerns are likely to be a dominant factor in the 2024 vote, with a vast majority of voters prioritizing it over social issues.
Biden’s campaign continues to highlight his economic achievements, but voter sentiment reflects a starkly different view. Only a minuscule percentage rate the economy as excellent.
In summary, Biden’s path to reelection appears challenging, with vulnerabilities across various issues and demographics. While his performance on abortion and democracy issues is comparatively better, the overall landscape presents an uphill battle for the incumbent president.
The New York Times/Siena College polls of 3,662 registered voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were conducted by telephone using live operators from Oct. 22 to Nov. 3, 2023. When all states are combined, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 1.8 percentage points. The margin of sampling error for each state is between 4.4 and 4.8 percentage points. Cross-tabs and methodology are available here.