More voters say they would vote for former President Trump than President Biden if the election were held today, according to a new poll from The New York Times and Siena College.
The poll of likely voters also showed Biden’s approval rating slipping below 40% for the first time since his boost in August. The NYT and Siena polled 792 registered voters in both English and Spanish over cellphones and landlines from October 9-12, reporting a margin of error of 4%. It found that the vast majority of Americans, 64%, believe the country is on the wrong track.
Trump narrowly beat out Biden in the election question, sporting 45% support to Biden’s 44%. Trump’s lead in that poll came despite 52% of the electorate saying they viewed him somewhat or very unfavorably.
The poll also showed encouraging numbers for Republicans heading into the midterm elections, with 49% of voters saying they were more likely to vote for a Republican candidate on Election Day, compared to 45% who leaned toward Democrats.
Republicans also see an advantage when it comes to issues, with the economy and inflation overwhelming all other issues headed into November, despite Democrats’ hopes that abortion would be top-of-mind.
Roughly 26% of voters said the economy is their most important issue, followed by inflation and cost of living at 18%. Abortion came in third, but at just 5%. Immigration also landed at 5%, while crime rounded out the top five at 3%.
The NYT poll comes just one day after a Fox News poll found that just one-third of registered voters say they would re-elect Biden in 2024. Experts say the poll shows just how desperate Democratic voters are for a new candidate in the next presidential election.
“This is a rough measure that shows some Democrats hope for a better candidate and Republicans are firmly decided against Biden,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson who conducts the Fox News Poll with Republican Daron Shaw. “But it clearly understates Biden’s likely support in an election environment against an actual Republican candidate because we know most Democrats will consolidate behind their nominee, whoever that is.”
“Political science research indicates that when a president is perceived as being a ‘strong leader’ they are likely to have positive ratings overall,” Shaw told Fox. “In Biden’s case, it’s hard to overcome the fact that almost two-thirds think he’s weak.”