Trump leads in five critical states as voters criticize Biden, Times/Siena poll finds | ET REALITY


President Biden trails Donald J. Trump in five of the six most important battleground states a year before the 2024 election, suffering huge doubts about his age and deep dissatisfaction with his handling of the economy and a series of other issues, new polls from The New York Times and Siena College have found.

The results show that Biden lost to Trump, his most likely Republican rival, by margins of three to 10 percentage points among registered voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Biden is ahead only in Wisconsin, by two percentage points, according to the poll.

In the six battlegrounds, all of which Biden won in 2020, the president trails by an average of 48 to 44 percent.

Discontent pulses throughout the Times/Siena poll, with most voters saying Biden’s policies have hurt them personally. The poll also reveals the extent to which the multiracial, multigenerational coalition that elected Biden is fraying. Demographic groups that backed Biden by overwhelming margins in 2020 are now much more contested, as two-thirds of the electorate see the country moving in the wrong direction.

Voters under 30 favor Biden by just one percentage point, his lead among Hispanic voters has shrunk to single digits, and his lead in urban areas is half of Trump’s lead in rural regions. And while women still favored Biden, men preferred Trump by twice the margin, reversing the gender advantage that had fueled so many Democratic gains in recent years.

Black voters, long a stronghold of Democrats and Biden, are now registering 22 percent support for Trump in these states, a level never seen in presidential politics for a Republican in modern times.

Add it all up and Trump leads by 10 points in Nevada, six in Georgia, five in Arizona, five in Michigan and four in Pennsylvania. Biden had a 2-point lead in Wisconsin.

In a notable sign of a gradual racial realignment between the two parties, the more diverse the swing state, the further behind Biden was, leading only among the whitest of the six.

According to the poll, Biden and Trump are deeply (and equally) unpopular. But voters who overwhelmingly said the nation was on the wrong path are taking out their frustrations on the president.

“The world is falling apart under Biden,” said Spencer Weiss, a 53-year-old electrical substation specialist in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, who supported Biden in 2020 but now backs Trump, albeit with some reservations. “I would rather see someone who I think can be a positive role model leader for the country. But at least I think Trump has his wits.”

Biden still has a year to change the situation. Economic indicators rise even if voters disagree with them. Trump continues to polarize. And Biden’s well-funded campaign will aim to shore up his demographic weaknesses. The president’s advisers have repeatedly noted that Democrats successfully limited the party’s losses in 2022 despite Biden’s low approval ratings at the time.

Still, the poll shows Biden entering next year with a deficit even though Trump has been indicted on criminal charges four times and faces trial in 2024. If the poll results were the same next November, Trump would be prepared to win more than 300 votes in the Electoral College, well above the 270 needed to reach the White House.

Another ominous sign for Democrats is that voters at all income levels felt that Biden’s policies had hurt them personally, while they credited Trump’s policies for helping them. The results were opposite: voters gave Trump a 17-point advantage for having helped them and Biden an 18-point disadvantage for having hurt them.

For Biden, who will turn 81 later this month, being the oldest president in American history stands out as an obvious responsibility. An overwhelming 71 percent said he was “too old” to be an effective president, a view shared by all demographic and geographic groups in the survey, including a notable 54 percent of Biden’s own supporters.

In contrast, only 19 percent of supporters of Trump, who is 77, considered him too old, and 39 percent of the electorate overall.

Concerns about the president’s advanced age and mental acuity (62 percent also said Biden does not have the “mental acuity” to be effective) are just the beginning of a broad set of Biden weaknesses in the poll results. .

Voters, by a margin of 59 percent to 37 percent, said they would trust Trump more than Biden on the economy, the largest gap of any issue. Preference for Trump on economic issues spanned the electorate, among both men and women, those with college degrees and those without, all age ranges and all income levels.

That result is especially problematic for Biden because nearly twice as many voters said economic issues would determine their vote in 2024 compared to social issues, such as abortion or guns. And those economic voters favored Trump by a landslide 60 percent to 32 percent..

The findings come after Biden’s campaign has spent millions of dollars on ads touting his record and as the president continues to tour the country to boast about the state of the economy. “Friends, Bidenomics is just another way of saying the American dream!” Biden declared Wednesday during a trip to Minnesota.

Voters clearly disagree. Only 2 percent of voters said the economy was excellent.

Voters under 30, a group that voted strongly for Biden in 2020, said they trusted Trump more on the economy by an extraordinary margin of 28 percentage points. after years of inflation and now high interest rates that have made mortgages much less affordable. Less than one percent of respondents under age 30 rated the current economy as excellent, including zero respondents in that age group in three states: Arizona, Nevada and Wisconsin.

“I actually had high hopes for Biden,” said Jahmerry Henry, a 25-year-old liquor packager in Albany, Georgia. “You can’t be worse than Trump. But then as the years go by things happen with inflation, the war in Ukraine, recently in Israel and I guess our borders are not secure at all.”

Now Henry plans to endorse Trump.

“I don’t see anything he’s done to benefit us,” said Patricia Flores, 39, of Reno, Nevada, who voted for Biden in 2020 but will not support him again in 2024.

In 2020, Biden’s path to victory had been to rebuild the so-called blue wall in the Rust Belt states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and then expand the map in the diversified Sun Belt states of Arizona and Georgia.

The poll shows Biden is noticeably stronger in northern industrial states than in the more diverse Sun Belt.

And its vulnerabilities cover a broad set of problems.

Voters preferred Trump over Biden on immigration by 12 points, on national security by 12 points, and on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by 11 points. And while a 58 percent majority supported more economic and military aid to Ukraine (which aligns with Biden’s policy), that did not appear to benefit the president on broader questions of suitability to handle foreign affairs.

“I don’t think he’s the right person to go toe-to-toe with these other world leaders who don’t respect him or fear him,” said Travis Waterman, 33, who worked in home restoration in Phoenix. He voted for Biden in 2020, but now sees him as “weak” and prefers Trump.

The gender gap in national security was enormous. Men preferred Trump 62 to 33 percent; women preferred Mr. Biden by 47 to 46 percent.

Biden’s strongest issue was abortion, where voters trusted him more than Trump by nine percentage points. Biden also maintained voter confidence by an even narrower three-point margin over Trump on the more amorphous handling of “democracy.”

Biden has already survived poor poll results. In fact, in October 2022, in the run-up to the midterm elections, the president’s job approval rating was almost the same as it is now. Still, his party managed to lose fewer seats than expected in the House and gained one in the Senate, in part by painting Republican candidates as extremists.

Today, the degree to which voters are put off by Trump’s personality and bombast — which has been the glue that has helped hold together a fragmented Democratic coalition for years — appears to have diminished. Only 46 percent of voters said Biden had the right temperament to be president, barely more than the 43 percent who said the same about Trump. That said, Trump will be in the spotlight more in 2024, including his criminal trials, a growing presence that could remind voters why they were repulsed by him in the first place.

The New York Times/Siena College polls of 3,662 registered voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were conducted by telephone using live operators from October 22 to November 3, 2023. When all states are combined , the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 1.8 percentage points. The margin of sampling error for each state is between 4.4 and 4.8 percentage points. Crosstabs and methodology are available here.

baker stretcher, Alicia McFadden and Ruth Igielnik contributed with reports.

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