The 2024 presidential election is well in sight, and President Joe Biden is facing increasing resistance to his reelection bid, as survey findings released by CNN Poll conducted by SSRS reveal. With his job approval rating standing just above anemic at 39%, a majority of U.S. voters (46%) say that any Republican presidential nominee would be a better choice than Biden in the next general election.
CNN opened its mid-morning programming today with a single word describing disastrous new polling for Biden:
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 7, 2023
The hypothetical matchups with specific contenders reflect this sentiment, with one exception: Biden runs behind former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Record lows among voters report that Biden inspires confidence or has the stamina or sharpness to serve effectively, and roughy three-quarters of Americans are seriously concerned that his age might negatively affect his current level of physical and mental competence, as well as his ability to serve out another full term if reelected.
Most Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters still say it’s very or extremely likely that Biden will again be the party’s presidential nominee, but 67% also say the party should nominate someone other than Biden – up from 54% in March, though still lower than the 75% who said they were seeking an alternative last summer.
In the survey, a matchup between Biden and former President Donald Trump showed a fractured electorate, with registered voters split at 47% and 46%, respectively. Party lines remain largely intact, with Biden finding majority support among voters of color, college graduates, youngsters and women; Trump seeing majority support among Whites, men and non-college-degree holders; and suburban women breaking for Biden.
Respondents also pondered the impact that Trump’s criminal charges could have on the outcome of a 2020 do-over. Those voting for Biden as a way to express their opposition to Trump were near-universal in saying the charges related to his role in the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol and to efforts to overturn the 2020 election are disqualifying if true. Those motivated by support for Trump, however, largely viewed the charges as politically-motivated, with 69% saying the former president faces so many charges largely due to political abuse of the justice system.
In sum, it appears that Biden is struggling more each day to convince the nation of his competence to serve as president, but his Republican opponents may not yet be able to leverage this opportunity to overtake Biden’s tenuous footing in the 2024 election. As the race progresses, we can be sure to see a number of changes to public perception of the contenders.