Trump Leads Biden By Four Points: NYT/Siena Poll

Trump Leads Biden By Four Points: NYT/Siena Poll

President Joe Biden is trailing former President Donald Trump with general election voters because of his perceived lack of leadership and voter concerns about where the nation is heading, according to a new New York Times/Siena College poll published Saturday.

The Trump-Biden breakdown among registered voters as a whole (48 to 43 percent, respectively) was even worse for the President than among likely voters (48 to 44 percent), continuing a dynamic that has held throughout this campaign in which Biden slightly outmatches his rival among the voters who are actually likely to show up in November.

But while that dynamic has given Biden a lead in previous polls—the last Times/Siena poll in December found Biden down two points among registered voters but up two points among likely ones—it wasn’t enough this time to give him an advantage. Saturday’s tally was the largest lead Trump has ever had in a Times/Siena poll—including in the 2016 and 2020 races.

The poll comes as voter attitudes toward the economy remain resoundingly pessimistic, and the President faces growing questions about his age and his handling of the Israel-Hamas war. Biden’s approval rating in Saturday’s poll was a dismal 36 percent, with 47 percent of voters expressing strong disapproval—the highest number of his presidency. Only 18 percent of voters felt Biden’s policies had helped them personally. Over double that number said the same for Trump.

Perhaps the poll’s starkest finding is that two-thirds of the electorate believes the country is “on the wrong track.” Trump is winning 63 percent of those voters. 

“Mr. Biden is very unpopular,” the Times’ Nate Cohn wrote bluntly on Saturday. “He’s so unpopular that he’s now even less popular than Mr. Trump, who remains every bit as unpopular as he was four years ago.”

In addition to his unfavorability numbers, the poll indicates that Biden’s lead among women and racial minorities is slipping away. Biden maintains a slim six-point lead among minorities without college degrees, a demographic that voted for him by 50 points in 2020. Women are now equally split between the two candidates, while Trump leads among Latino voters.

In a further sign that the electorate that pushed Biden to victory in 2020 may be unraveling, 17 percent of voters who cast ballots for him in 2020 aren’t supporting his re-election. A full 10 percent of Biden 2020 voters said that they plan to back Trump, who—despite a more fractious primary campaign—is still winning 97 percent of the voters who voted for him last time.

One piece of encouraging news for the Biden campaign is that among so-called “double haters”—voters who disapprove of both candidates—Biden came out on top by 12 points. The candidate who won that part of the electorate, the Times noted, emerged victorious in both 2016 and 2020.

Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler responded to the poll Saturday by saying the campaign is “ignoring the noise.”

“Polling continues to be at odds with how Americans vote, and consistently overestimates Donald Trump while underestimating President Biden,” he said in a statement. “Whether it’s in special elections or in the presidential primaries, actual voter behavior tells us a lot more than any poll does, and it tells a very clear story: Joe Biden and Democrats continue to outperform while Donald Trump and the party he leads are weak, cash-strapped, and deeply divided. Our campaign is ignoring the noise and running a strong campaign to win — just like we did in 2020.”

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