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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Biden Gets a Bit of Traction in Latest Polls

Hold the High Fives for a bit longer, but it does appear that Biden is seeing some improvement in the most recent polls. As Kerry Eleveld explains at Daily Kos:

“Last week, The Economist’s presidential polling average set in motion a reevaluation of the general election when President Joe Biden pulled ahead of Donald Trump for the first time since September 2023….To be clear, Biden isn’t suddenly the odds-on favorite to win in November, but the fundamentals of the Biden-Trump contest do appear to be shifting in a slightly more favorable direction for Biden.

In the 18 Biden-Trump head-to-head matchups conducted by reputable pollsters (1.8 stars or higher-plus in 538’s pollster ratings) since the March 7 State of the Union address, Trump led in nine surveys, Biden led in seven, and they were even in two. This is a modest improvement from the 18 comparable surveys leading up to Biden’s speech. In those surveys, Trump led in 10, Biden in six, and two found the candidates evenly matched. Better yet, the average of these polls shows Biden improving overall, from 1.1 percentage points underwater before the State of the Union, to 0.8 points underwater afterward—which may seem like a negligible shift but is meaningful where averages are concerned. (Note: None of the polls used here account for how third-party candidates affect the outcome.)

….But truth be told, the horse-race polling is among the least of Biden’s gains in the contest. The Biden campaign’s fundraising in February combined with that of the Democratic National Committee eclipsed the totals of Trump and the RNC.

Perhaps more significantly, “Other underlying fundamentals are also moving in a positive direction for Biden and Democrats. While Republicans led Democrats in 538’s generic congressional ballot aggregate throughout most of January, February, and much of March, Democrats have now pulled even with Republicans, at roughly 44.5% each….In Civiqs’ tracking polls, the public opinion of Biden’s efforts to create jobs are better than they have ever been, with 42% agreeing that he’s doing enough and 48% disagreeing.” Eleveld adds,

And while voters’ views on the condition of the economy remain well underwater, they are trending in the right direction since falling in the first half of 2022, during the throes of inflation. At net -24 points “good,” the numbers now are on par with how voters viewed the economy in late September 2021….And voters’ estimation of their family finances are the best they’ve been in roughly two years, since early March 2022.

Current public opinion about the economy and personal finances are double-digits better than they were during the final month of the 2022 midterms, when Democrats turned back the vaunted red wave that historical norms foretold. In fact, voters’ view of the economy is 22 points better now than it was on Election Day 2022.

….But what is most fascinating is the shift among independents, who favored Trump by 11 points in January. But this month, Biden cut Trump’s lead among independent voters to just a handful of points, 37% to 42%.

Eleveld concludes, “November is still many months away, but Democrats have reason to like the way things are trending as they work to build momentum heading into the August convention.”

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