In our decades of experience covering politics, we’ve never seen a poll as devastating to an incumbent president as the one CBS News/YouGov poll published over the weekend.
The short version is that more voters think they would be better off if Donald Trump returns to the White House than they would if Joe Biden stays there. Think about that for a moment.
Then there’s the New York Times/Sienna College poll, also published over the weekend, showing that Trump leads Biden in five key swing states, and by wide margins: 10 points in Nevada, 6 points in Georgia, 5 in Arizona and Michigan, and 4 points in Pennsylvania.
The Times poll also found that 59% disapprove of the job Biden is doing as president, and 71% said he was too old, while only 38% said Trump was too old.
Both polls have sent the mainstream press scrambling to reassure their readers that either the polls don’t mean what they seem, that Biden can “improve his position,” or that, fingers crossed, Trump gets convicted. (The New York Times Monday story carried the headline: “Trump Indictments Haven’t Sunk His Campaign, but a Conviction Might.”)
But of the two, the CBS News/YouGov poll is far worse for Biden. Instead of just asking who they’d support, CBS News asked likely voters a series of questions about who they think they’d be better off with in the years ahead, Biden or Trump.
The results are striking. Just 18% said they’d be better off financially if Biden won, while 48% said they’d be worse off. In contrast, 45% said they’d be better off financially if Trump won.
Another blow for Biden: After spending three years claiming his policies helped the middle class, he has no advantage on this score. More than half (51%) say his policies would favor the wealthy, the same share as say Trump’s policies would favor the wealthy.
Voters also think the world would be a more dangerous place if Biden wins reelection. More said the U.S. could end up in a war under Biden than Trump (49% to 39%), while more think a Trump win will increase peace and stability in the world (47% vs. 31% for Biden).
The poll also found that the share of voters who say “things are going badly in America” has risen from an already high 65% in January to 73% in November. Keep in mind that this is after Biden launched his Bidenomics campaign to sway the public that all is well.
A deeper dive into the CBS poll reveals even more trouble for Biden, particularly when you look at independents who will decide the outcome. Only 10% of independents think they’ll be better off financially if Biden wins. In contrast, 43% of independents say they’ll be better off if Trump wins.
More than half of independents (55%) think a Biden win increases the chances of the U.S. getting into a war, but only 38% say that of Trump. And 80% of independents say things in America are going badly. Nearly three-quarters of independents say the economy is in bad shape.
Keep in mind that these results come after nearly seven years of relentlessly negative coverage of Trump, a multitude of federal and state indictments, and the possibility that he could end up in prison or jail. And after voters already ran Trump out of office once.
Given the growing pile of bad Biden news, how long will Democrats put up with this loser of a president?
Don Levy, director of Siena College Research Institute, told the Guardian what every Democrat must know to be true:
“If the 2024 matchup featured a Democrat other than Biden running against Trump, the ‘generic’ Democrat would be ahead by seven to 12 points in five of the states and ahead by three points in Nevada,” he said.
We can only hope that Biden will refuse to step aside and that Democrats will stick with him until the bitter end.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board