Donald Trump is leading President Joe Biden in five out of six major battleground states, according to a new New York Times/Siena poll published Sunday. The bleak news for the president comes exactly one year out from the 2024 election, as Trump continues to dominate the GOP primary despite facing four separate criminal indictments.
“On question after question, the public’s view of the president has plummeted over the course of his time in office,” wrote the Times’ Nate Cohn in an analysis of the polling data. “The deterioration in Mr. Biden’s standing is broad, spanning virtually every demographic group, yet it yields an especially deep blow to his electoral support among young, Black and Hispanic voters, with Mr. Trump obtaining previously unimaginable levels of support with them.”
In the swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania—all of which Biden won in 2020—Trump is running ahead by three to 10 percentage points, with Trump’s lead larger in the Sun Belt states and slimmer in the northern industrial ones. Biden is only leading in Wisconsin, polling ahead by two points.
The president’s numbers were most underwater on the state of the economy, where voters’ approval has remained stubbornly low despite some encouraging economic indicators and the Biden campaign’s concerted effort to market “Bidenomics” to the electorate.
Voters surveyed said they trusted Trump’s handling of the economy by an over 20-point margin—the largest of any single issue. Voters also trusted Trump by double-digit margins on immigration, national security, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Biden outpaced Trump on abortion by nine points and on the more general question of “democracy” by three. Both issues were crucial to delivering the president’s party a surprisingly solid showing in the 2022 midterm elections.
Beyond specific policy issues, the poll shows voters souring on more personal questions of Biden’s age and temperament. The share of voters who think Biden does not have the mental fitness to be president has risen from 45 to 62 percent since 2020, while the number who believed the same about Trump actually decreased from 48 to 44 percent.
On the question of age, an overwhelming 71 percent of the electorate—including 54 percent of his supporters—said Biden was “too old” to govern effectively. By contrast, less than 20 percent of Trump supporters and 40 percent of the overall electorate see the former president, who is currently 77, as too old to govern.
With rare exceptions, Biden has largely avoided directly addressing the question of his age—he would be 86 at the end of a hypothetical second term—but the poll results indicate that voters’ concerns aren’t going away.
Additionally, the poll showed shallow levels of support for Biden among younger and more diverse voters, crucial Democratic constituencies. His lead among voters under 30 is just a single percentage point, and his lead among all nonwhite voters under 45—a group that voted for him by a 40-point margin in 2020—is just six points. “In a remarkable sign of a gradual racial realignment between the two parties, the more diverse the swing state, the farther Mr. Biden was behind, and he led only in the whitest of the six,” The New York Times reported.
The poll results aren’t entirely bad news for the Democratic Party, however. Asked whether they would support a “generic Democrat” over Trump in a hypothetical 2024 matchup, voters picked the Democrat by an eight-point margin. Asked a similar question in 2019, the Democrat only won by three. The result indicates that voters’ frustrations lie mainly with the president.
“Four years ago, Joe Biden was the electability candidate — the broadly appealing, moderate Democrat from Scranton who promised to win the white working-class voters who elected Donald J. Trump,” Cohn concluded. “There are few signs of that electoral strength today.”