As his approval rating declines, the president is now trailing his 2020 rival by six points
Former US President Donald Trump is leading President Joe Biden by four points in a new poll, with Biden’s approval rating plummeting to a new low. Among a growing field of potential Republican challengers, Trump is by far the favorite to take his party’s nomination.
Published on Sunday, the Washington Post/ABC News survey shows Biden’s approval rate slipping to 36%, down from 42% in February. Low ratings have plagued Biden throughout his entire term in office thus far, but 36% is the lowest result in any Post/ABC poll to date.
Biden’s announcement last month that he will seek a second term in office in 2024 appears to have done little to generate enthusiasm among his voters. Registered Democrats are evenly split (47%-47%) on whether the party should nominate Biden or ‘someone other than Biden’ in 2024, while 77% of independents who lean Democratic want to see the 80-year-old incumbent replaced at the helm of the party.
Biden’s low approval and the lukewarm enthusiasm around his campaign has played into Trump’s hands. Asked who they would vote for in 2024, 44% of American adults said that they would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ vote for Trump, while 38% said that they would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ back Biden; 18% were undecided.
Trump, who announced his campaign in November, is by far the favorite to take the Republican nomination; 51% of Republicans surveyed said they would like to see Trump take the spot, while 25% favored Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has not formally entered the race yet. The remaining candidates – a list that includes former Vice President Mike Pence and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley – all scored between 1% and 6%.
According to the poll, 54% of voters think Trump did a better job of handling the US economy than Biden, while 36% think Biden has performed better during his presidency so far. While the US inflation rate has fallen since its four-decade high of 9.1% last June, it remains higher than at any point between the 1980s and 2022, and gasoline is still nearly twice as expensive as it was during Trump’s administration.
Biden’s mental and physical health are weak points too. According to the Post/ABC survey, 63% of voters think that Biden lacks the mental sharpness to perform as president, while 62% think he is in too poor a physical condition to serve effectively. Doubts about Biden’s fitness have grown throughout his presidency, as video after video show the president muddling through speeches, falling over, and appearing visibly confused at meetings and events.
The poll highlighted ongoing criminal trials and investigations as potential stumbling blocks for Trump, with majorities saying that he should face charges for declaring the 2020 election fraudulent, mishandling classified documents, and his role in encouraging the January 6, 2021 riot on Capitol Hill.