New Poll From The New York Times Shows Dead Heat Between Biden, Trump

The president’s standing has improved among Democrats.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump would be dead even in a hypothetical election contest, according to a new poll from The New York Times and Siena College.

Biden and Trump both garnered 43% support from registered voters in the survey, previewing yet another tight presidential contest, while 4% of voters said they would back another candidate and 6% said they wouldn’t vote at all.

Biden appears to be solidifying his standing among members of his own party, gaining ground compared to a previous survey last year that showed most Democrats favored a different candidate for their presidential nominee. Still, only 64% of Democratic primary voters said they would back Biden in next year’s contest ― a relatively low number for an incumbent ― while 13% favored conspiracy theorist and vaccine hater Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

And right now, only 83% of Democrats plan to vote for him in November 2024, while 88% of Republicans plan to back Trump. Biden has a slim 42% to 27% lead among independents.

Part of the problem is that just 39% of voters said they approved of the job Biden is doing as president. Economic conditions are a major factor in presidential job approval, and only 20% rated the economy as excellent or good, with the benefits of low unemployment for the past year overshadowed by high inflation that has only recently begun to let up.

The White House has touted the president’s contributions to the economy and his “Bidenomics” agenda, which includes a more assertive industrial policy and antitrust enforcement.

Trump, meanwhile, maintained a 54% to 17% lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis among Republican primary voters. Support for DeSantis has slipped in recent months despite Trump’s mounting legal problems, including federal criminal charges for hoarding classified documents after he left the White House, plus the possibility of more charges related to his efforts to undo his loss in the 2020 election.

Trump has turned his criminal exposure into a rallying cry, dubiously claiming he’s being targeted by the Biden administration. “They’re not indicting me. They’re indicting you. I just happen to be standing in the way,” he said at a rally in Pennsylvania over the weekend.

The New York Times/Siena result is comparable to other high-quality surveys sampled by the polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight.

Biden, 80, is the oldest person to serve as president and has faced doubts from Democratic voters and members of his party about his age, though this week’s poll suggests those concerns may have eased a bit.

One Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Dean Phillips (Minn.), said last year that Biden shouldn’t run for a second term. He’s reportedly considering a leap into the Democratic primary if Biden’s health or standing in the polls substantially weakens.

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