A new poll from The New York Times and Siena College shows just how perilous President Joe Biden’s political standing is — and just how urgent it is for Biden and Democrats to try to turn the tide of public opinion.
The poll finds that 64% of Democratic voters say they’d prefer the party nominate someone other than Biden as its presidential candidate in 2024 — with 94% of Democrats under age 30 looking for a different nominee. Overall, Biden’s approval rating stands at 33%, including a relatively low 70% among Democrats, and just 13% of poll respondents say the country is on the right track.
It’s the economy, stupid: Asked to name the most important problem facing the country today, 20% of voters cited the economy (including jobs and the stock market) while 15% pointed to inflation and the cost of living. Nearly all voters — 96% — said the economy and inflation are extremely or somewhat important to them. But 58% of voters described the current economy as poor, while only 10% called it excellent or good.
At the same time, among those Democrats who prefer a different nominee in 2024, 33% say the 79-year-old president’s age is the main reason they want a new candidate, suggesting that a decline in inflation and an improvement in economic conditions might not be enough to win those voters over.
Also worth noting: Just 1% of voters called health care the country’s most important problem, and fewer than 1% pointed to the coronavirus.
But Biden still beats Trump: Even with the abundance of abysmal numbers for Biden, one polling point should give him and Democrats some reason for optimism: The survey found that if the presidential election was held today, voters would still give Biden the edge over former President Donald Trump, 44% to 41%. In that hypothetical rematch of the 2020 election, 92% of Democrats said they would vote for Biden, though Trump would still enjoy a large edge among Republicans (85%-4%) and a slight edge among independents (39%-37%).
The poll surveyed 849 registered voters from July 5-7, 2022. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.