When it comes to President Biden, are voters starting to have a serious case of buyers’ remorse? It sure looks that way. A new I&I/TIPP Poll limited to those who voted in the 2020 election shows former President Donald Trump sharply narrowing the gap between him and Biden and leading across most of the country if the election were held today.
For all intents and purposes, based on current voter sentiment and the margin of error, it’s a virtual dead heat between Trump and Biden, with Trump having all the momentum.
The data come from the October I&I/TIPP Poll of 1,308 adults was conducted online from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 by TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, I&I’s polling partner. The analysis for this story is based 955 Americans who voted in 2020 and revealed their 2020 vote. The margin of error for the analysis is +/-3.3 percentage points.
In it, we asked: “If the presidential election were held today, and the following were the candidates, for whom would you vote?” Respondents were given the choices of “Donald Trump,” “Joe Biden,” “Other,” or “Not sure.”
Overall, Biden still leads Trump by 45% to 44%, with 6% choosing “other” and 5% saying “not sure.”
But amid growing questions over his leadership in just the ninth month of his presidency, Biden’s slender lead looks tenuous at best. In September, it was Biden 46%, Trump 42.1%. Since then, overall, Biden lost 1.2 percentage points, while Trump gained 1.8 points.
Key demographic groups also show a swing away from Biden toward Trump. The breakdown shows a major swing from Biden to Trump in the last month.
Trump leads in the Midwest (45.9% vs. 44.9%), the South (45.8% vs. 44.6), and the West (42.4% vs. 39.7%). Biden leads Trump in the Northeast 53.6% to 39.1%.
Trump now leads Biden among those aged 45-64 (45.8% support Trump vs. 41.8% Biden), those 65 and older (50.7% vs. 39.3%), women (44.9% vs. 41.9%), Whites (50.2% vs. 38.4%), independent voters (46.2% vs. 36.9%), suburban voters (47% vs. 39.4%) and rural voters (54.8% vs. 37.2%), and married women (52.2% vs 40.0%).
Moreover, even among those who still favored Biden in October, Trump realized some significant gains. Among Black voters, for instance, Trump moved from 18.1% support in September to 20.3% in October.
Among Hispanic voters, the fastest-growing voting bloc in the U.S., Trump gained a hefty 14.6 percentage points, from 24.2% to 38.8%. That’s more than the 33% of the Hispanic vote that Trump garnered in the 2020 election.
Moderates, often identified with independents and other key swing voters, tacked on 5.8 percentage points to their overall support of Trump, from 32.4% to 38.2%.
Among married women, often viewed as a heavily influential voting group, the shift toward Trump was particularly notable: In September, this group favored Biden (42.4%) to Trump (42.1%). In October, they gave Trump 53.2% of their vote, versus just 40% for Biden, a huge swing.
What’s behind the steep decline in Biden’s popularity with voters?
Political watchers note that the sharp jump in inflation, failure to stem the COVID-19 pandemic, surging illegal immigration, the Afghan withdrawal debacle, the supply-chain collapse, surprisingly weak job growth and soaring energy prices have all contributed to a growing sense among many that Biden — at 77 the oldest president in history — is not up to the job of being president.
This bad news, coming early in Biden’s first term, underscores other recent polls showing a shocking loss of public confidence in Biden’s presidency.
A new Gallup Poll taken from Oct 1. to Oct. 19, for instance, shows Biden suffering the biggest decline in favorability of any president since World War II, plunging from 56% in the first quarter to 44.7% in the third quarter. That’s a 20.2% decline.
The RealClearPolitics average of 10 polls shows a freefall in favorability for Biden. Since May 24, when Biden’s favorability stood at a relatively robust 54.9%, it has declined to 42.3% as of Oct. 22, a precipitous 23% drop.
A recent televised Townhall by Biden, part of a plan to buff up his tarnished image, showed dismal ratings, garnering just 1.16 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. By comparison, a Biden CNN televised Townhall in June attracted 1.46 million viewers, while a February Biden TV event pulled in 3.4 million watchers.
“The drop in interest in what the president has to say on important issues and policy can’t be underscored enough,” wrote Joe Concha, a columnist for The Hill.
In a separate polling series this month, I&I/TIPP found Americans see Biden as a divisive political figure, particularly when measured against his campaign vow to “unify” Americans.
“Some 40% of those responding agreed that Biden was “stoking partisanship and division,” while 37% said he was living up to his pledge to “unify” the country,” I&I wrote. “A sizeable 23% said they were “not sure.” “
I&I/TIPP will continue to provide more informative data from our polls in the coming weeks and months on topics of interest to all Americans. TIPP has the distinction of being the most accurate pollster for the past five presidential elections.