President Joe Biden has a near-record 61 percent disapproval rating, and loses to former President Donald Trump 47 percent to 46 percent in the latest CNN-SSRS poll taken on Aug. 25 to Aug. 31. Only 39 percent approve of his handling of Biden’s job and a remarkable 9 percent of Democrats say they’d rather vote for Trump than Biden, compared to 6 percent of Republicans who say they’d vote for Biden.
A whopping 58 percent said Biden’s policies were worsening the U.S. economy as recession fears linger following the whopping inflation of 2021 and 2022. Only 24 percent think Biden’s policies are improving the economy, and 18 percent think they have no impact.
The economy is one of those issues where confidence in the economy is a key indicator for a president’s re-electability. Just ask Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Donald Trump, who all had recessions that sank their reelection bids in 1932, 1980, 1992 and 2020, respectively.
72 percent said Biden did not inspire confidence, 55 percent said he did not care about people like them and 74 percent said he did not have the stamina and sharpness to serve as president. They don’t think he’s fit. Only 28 percent say Biden inspires confidence and only 26 percent say he has the stamina and sharpness. Only 45 percent think Biden cares about them.
Among Democrats and Democratic leaning voters, 67 percent said that Democrats should choose a different candidate for president in 2024. Only 33 percent still want Biden. Of those who said Biden shouldn’t run, a shocking 82 percent said it just needed to be somebody besides Biden, they don’t care who it is, up from 69 percent in March. Apparently, they’d vote for Mickey Mouse with a D after his name.
And of those Democrats and Democratic leaning voters who want someone besides Biden, his age is the top concern, with 49 percent saying he’s too old. 7 percent say it is his mental competence and sharpness that are in question. Another 7 percent say it is his health. 4 percent say he is at risk of dying. 2 percent say he doesn’t have the stamina. Still another 7 percent say it is his ability to handle his job effectively. And 6 percent simply think he can’t win.
In the head-to-head matchup against Trump, Biden’s support has collapsed among 35-to-49-year-olds, which includes older Millennials and Generation X, which Trump leads by 12 points, 52 percent to 40 percent. This is extremely important, for this was a group Biden carried in 2020, according to the 2020 CNN exit poll, winning 40-to-49-year-olds 54 percent to 44 percent, and winning 30-to-39-year-olds 51 percent to 46 percent.
Trump also leads 50-to-64-year-olds by 8 points, 51 percent to 43 percent. Biden does better among 18-to-34-year-olds, garnering 55 percent to Trump’s 38 percent, and Biden and Trump roughly split 65-year-olds and older, with Biden getting 47 percent to Trump’s 46 percent. Trump’s slippage among seniors might be cause for concern for the former president, a group he led in 2020 52 percent to 47 percent, although it’s worth noting Biden has not increased his support there.
And this is while there is still a nominating process underway that has not even begun yet, with the first primaries and caucuses still months away. Usually, challenger candidates are able to consolidate their bases upon winning a nomination. However, incumbent presidents with weak numbers headed into the primaries is usually cause for concern.
An interesting question will be how many voters register a protest vote in primaries like New Hampshire or South Carolina, or at the Iowa caucus. Democrats say they want someone else, but will those voters show up in a primary? Those are indicators that showed that, for example, Harry Truman was in trouble in 1952, Lyndon Johnson was in trouble in 1968, Jimmy Carter was in trouble in 1980 and George H.W. Bush was in trouble in 1992.
As it is, in the RealClearPolitics.com average of polls for the Democratic Party nomination, Biden leads Robert Kennedy, Jr. 67 percent to 12 percent, with another 6.5 percent saying they want Marianne Williamson.
Overall, for an incumbent president who should have the wind in his sails headed into a reelection bid, these numbers are extremely crappy. And they could get even worse, as a year from now, Biden will be even older, and the economy might not be any better, two of his greatest weaknesses. As usual, stay tuned.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.
Cross-posted with The Daily Torch
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