OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump not only continues to gain on his 2020 rival, President Joe Biden, but he has surprisingly taken the lead in new polling that has shocked many political observers and the typical Biden-friendly media.
For example, an ABC News/Washington Post poll released earlier this week saw Trump with a nearly 10-point lead over Biden, 51-42 percent, with the president’s overall performance ratings extremely poor.
An NBC News poll, meanwhile, found Biden’s disapproval rating at 56 percent, one of the highest of his presidency, while 44 percent of respondents said they are worse off now under Biden than before. That is the highest percentage since 1986, under then-President Ronald Reagan.
“A majority of voters polled in the Post-ABC poll felt the economy; prices of food, energy and gas; the unemployment rate; and average wages were all either ‘poor’ or ‘not so good,'” Axios reported.
“91% agreed the cost of food was a negative. 87% felt the same about gas and energy prices,” the report continued. “74% are concerned about the state of the U.S. economy, and 75% about wages.”
In a survey analysis, ABC News’ Gary Langer noted: “A variety of factors may be at play. Biden’s poor performance ratings, the extent of economic discontent, the immigration crisis and doubts about his age clearly are relevant.”
He added: “All have been the subject of extensive recent news coverage, focusing public discourse on negatives for the president.”
After publishing the survey, the Washington Post quickly questioned its own polling, saying the results were “probably an outlier.”
Trump’s sizable lead “is significantly at odds with other public polls that show the general election contest a virtual dead heat,” the outlet claimed.
That said, ABC News host Martha Raddatz and the network’s senior political analyst appeared shocked by the findings.
“These numbers are simply staggering for the sitting president,” Rick Klein, ABC News’s political director, said on Sunday as he broke down the results. “Forty-four percent of people in this poll say they are not as well off as they were at the start of the Biden administration two and a half years ago. Those are the worst numbers that we’ve seen in our ‘ABC News/Washington Post’ polling. And it’s a question we’ve been asking going back to the Reagan administration.”
Continuing, Klein said: “And when – when you dive into the big questions around the economy, we know President Biden has been out there trying to make the case, unemployment is low, he’s been talking about how inflation has been easing, but people aren’t buying it. You covered some of the reasons why. Gas prices, food prices, grocery prices, and the like. Right now, on the big picture in the economy, 74 percent of the country, that’s about three-quarters of Americans say the economy is either not so good or downright poor.”
Raddatz responded, “And it’s not just the state of the nation or the policies that are giving people pause on President Biden. It seems to be the man himself.”
“Yes, Martha, let’s talk about age because we know for sure that the country certainly is,” Klein replied, adding:
President Biden would be 82 years old on Inauguration Day 2025. That’s how old he is. He’s not getting any younger. And, of course, perceptions around his ability to perform in the job are not getting any better. Right now, three-quarters of Americans, 74 percent, say that he is too old to effectively serve in a second term. That compares to about 50 percent who say the same about Donald Trump.
And it’s not just Republicans or independents who are skeptical over Joe Biden. This is a question we asked, should Biden be at the top of the ticket? Sixty-two percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents said they think that someone else should be the presidential nominee, although the party is deeply split on who that someone else should be.
Now, if you’re looking for a potentially good sign, a positive sign for Democrats in this poll, opposition to the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe versus Wade, overturning abortion rights at the national level, remains very, very strong, 64 percent opposition. Of course, it was Donald Trump’s three Supreme Court justices who authored that opinion and made it possible.
“Most of these numbers paint a bleak picture for President Biden’s re-election chances, Rick,” Raddatz said.