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Speculation Runs Wild After Michelle Obama Joins Clintons, Biden Alone on Air Force One

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former First Lady Melania Trump made a rare public appearance this week as an attendee of the tribute service for Rosalynn Carter in Georgia.

Melania Trump joined current First Lady Jill Biden and former First Ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton to pay tribute to Carter. It is customary for current and former first ladies to pay their respects at the funerals of late first ladies.

Former President Jimmy Carter, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, and former President Bill Clinton are also expected to attend Carter’s memorial service. Former President Barack Obama did not attend.

Carter, 96, passed away on Sunday at her Plains, Georgia, home, just two days after she was placed in hospice care. Her 97-year-old husband, former President Jimmy Carter, was by her side, according to the Washington Post.

Being on that plane by herself was a statement. Given that so many have argued that Barack Obama has been so instrumental in controlling Biden’s campaign, many think he finally got his wish.

While Michelle Obama has publicly stated multiple times that she has no plans to run for president, Democrats are hitting the panic button on Joe Biden going into 2024.

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It’s no longer subtle that Biden’s policies have failed and that his health is in question.

In a recent Yahoo News and YouGov poll, a whopping 54% of people said they felt that Joe Biden does not have “the competence to carry out the job of president” even now, much less for the next four years.

The poll numbers for President Joe Biden continue to plummet.

In early November, New York Times/Siena College polls indicated that Trump was leading in four of the six swing states; however, additional signs of Biden’s electoral danger quickly surfaced. The president’s advantage over Trump in head-to-head matches is decreasing.

In all but two of the most recent polls conducted this month by 13 different pollsters, Biden’s standing is lower than it was in their earlier surveys.

Additionally, Trump has begun to gather momentum even though polls indicate that the majority of the movement is coming from voters who are switching from Biden to Trump, even though they may still remain undecided.

Now, more than at any other time in the previous year, Trump has a larger vote share, according to the average national poll.

The data at the state level is equally impressive. Apart from the polls conducted by the New York Times and Siena, over the past seven days, additional surveys have indicated that Trump is leading by 8 points in Arizona and 5 points in Michigan.

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A number of factors, including the emergence of independent and third-party candidates who have the potential to deflect votes from both Biden and Trump, the onset of war in the Middle East, and Biden’s recent decline and political predicament approximately 11 months before Election Day, indicate that Biden is losing ground to both Trump and dependable Democratic constituencies.

The results of this week’s NBC News poll were startling: Trump defeated Biden 46 percent to 42 percent of voters under the age of 35.

While that was well within the wide margin of error for such a small subgroup, other polls indicate a tight race with a Democratic constituency that has historically been dependable. In surveys conducted this month by Quinnipiac University (Biden +9), Fox News (Biden +7), and Morning Consult (Biden +2), Biden’s leads among voters aged 18 to 34 were all in the single digits. (Trump prevailed over Biden in all four voter surveys.)

However, Biden has never performed well in polls with younger voters—he is the oldest president in history. Additionally, phone surveys are a challenging method of reaching younger voters (of the four above, all but Morning Consult were conducted via telephone).

One thing is for sure: Biden’s lead over Trump is dwindling. However, these polls also show two additional trendlines that are concerning for the incumbent.

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First, at this stage of his first term, his approval rating has been declining, which is already historically low for a president.

In the FiveThirtyEight average earlier this month, Biden’s approval rating dropped to 38%, the lowest level since July 2022. In a similar vein, Biden’s reading of 40% in RealClearPolitics this month was his lowest since August 2022.

In the meantime, Trump’s popularity is growing. When it comes to Trump’s position against Biden in head-to-head comparisons, RealClearPolitics’ average for the past little over a year has shown him to be between 42 and 46 percent.

Not only did Trump surpass 46 percent for the first time this month, but he also surpassed 47 percent this week, roughly matching his vote share from the 2020 election.

Trump is becoming more popular, according to polls that track undecided voters. One such poll by Fox News showed Trump leading Biden by a slim margin, 50% to 46%.

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