“For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away” (Matthew 25:29, NKJV). This verse, commonly called the Pareto principle in economics, means that momentum builds in either a positive or negative direction. This tenet is being demonstrated on a daily basis for President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party, courtesy of poll companies who appear armed with slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune for the incumbent’s 2024 hopes.
One would be hard-pressed to find a glimmer of a silver lining for the president in recent polling, which runs the gamut from losing to Donald Trump in crucial swing states to coming in a distant second on every area of importance to the average voter. In fact, despite a steady cacophony regarding the surefire destruction of democracy should Trump prevail next November, the momentum seems to be moving in the wrong direction for Biden.
The Kids Aren’t All Right for Joe
A stunning reversal in Biden’s support among 18- to 34-year-olds was revealed in an NBC survey carried out Nov. 10-14. This usually left-leaning demographic went for Trump over Biden by a clear four points (46% to 42%). According to 2020 exit polls, 18- to 29-year-olds voted for Biden by a staggering 20%.
On the other hand, a CBS News poll gave Biden a sweeping 25% lead over the former president and was trumpeted by the press as proof positive that Biden was not considered too old by the younger generation. Which poll is a more accurate indicator?
Looking at a range of outlets – such as The New York Times that gives Biden just a one-point lead or CNN that hands Trump the same victory margin – the data suggest the CBS survey is the outlier, and that a move away from Democrat to Republican support is certainly happening.
Swing State Poll Numbers
There were two major surveys out this month in the all-important swing states: one by The New York Times/Siena, and the other by Morning Consult/Bloomberg. Both sought to examine the intentions of voters in pivotal swing states. The latter suggests:
“Former President Donald Trump is leading President Joe Biden in six of the seven surveyed 2024 swing states: Arizona (+4 percentage points), Georgia (+9 points), Nevada (+4 points), North Carolina (+9 points), Pennsylvania (+3 points) and Wisconsin (+2 points). Biden leads Trump by 1 point in Michigan.”
The other poll provided equally bad news to Team Biden. The Times summarized, “President Biden is trailing Donald J. Trump in five of the six most important battleground states one year before the 2024 election, suffering from enormous doubts about his age and deep dissatisfaction over his handling of the economy and a host of other issues.” The states in question were Nevada (+10), Georgia (+6), Michigan (+5), Pennsylvania (+4), Arizona (+5), with Wisconsin opting for Joe Biden by two points.
Let’s Talk Issues
Personalities and soundbites make great television, but it is on the issues that elections are fought – especially when, for all intents and purposes, the two main contenders are both “incumbents.” A recent Marquette Law School poll sought to determine the public’s perception of Trump’s and Biden’s leadership capabilities in key areas of interest. The results no doubt provided harrowing reading for the president’s team. Here are some high – and low – lights:
- Immigration and border security – Trump beats Biden by 23 points.
- The economy – Trump beats Biden by 21 points.
- Handling the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza – Trump beats Biden by 11 points.
- Foreign relations – Trump beats Biden by 6 points.
- Medicare and Social Security – Trump beats Biden by 1 point.
In fact, the only two issues in which Biden comes out on top are abortion policy (Biden +7) and climate change (Biden +11). While abortion can be a big winner in some states, climate change barely registers as an issue of importance.
The two most significant issues for 2024 voters are immigration and the economy – a 20-point deficit on each could be an insurmountable hurdle for Joe Biden.
And Just in General …
Aside from the specific targeted polling, there is also an anti-Biden trend in general. Of the 11 major surveys conducted in November so far, Biden won in just two, and lost all of the eight most recent. This represents accelerating losses for Biden in recent weeks, a trend that can be observed by following the polling backward. In October there were 21 major surveys (as per RealClearPolitics), and Trump and Biden each placed pole position in eight – the remainders were ties. And back in September (26 polls), both candidates were again very close.
The RCP aggregate hands Trump a 1.6% victory margin in the next election, a figure that closely matches the betting odds that predict a slim win for The Donald.
No Good News for Biden
Democrats have spent their political capital (and some would argue dignity) trying to perform outreach to younger voting demographics – from inviting social media influencers and rap stars to the White House to pandering to every intersectional characteristic out there. And yet the polls suggest youngsters aren’t buying the hype. Even worse for Biden, he seems to be underwater on just about every issue of significance to the average American voter.
Biden had it all. He was supported by the official organs of state, the vast majority of major media outlets, universities, and big businesses – until he wasn’t. Now the momentum is with Trump, exasperating left-leaning political pundits. And like Matthew’s verse seems to say: When you’re losing, expect more losses to come your way. If the surveys are anywhere near accurate, it might be time for the Biden campaign to come up with a whole new strategy.