Joe Biden and Donald Trump matching up again for the presidency this year is the spin off that nobody wanted. The highly contentious 2020 election resulted in an even greater divide between the political parties in America, and with Biden and Trump facing off again, this is a problem that doesn’t seem to be close to a solution. 

A Difficult-To-Manage Job

By nature, presidents aren’t able to please everybody. It’s one of the most stressful jobs in the United States, and requires individuals to constantly be on their toes as far as local, national, and international politics goes. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Alberto Giuliani

And even things that are out of your control can have a significant effect on your public rating. For Donald Trump, one factor that was wildly out of his control and had an enormous effect on his reelection chances was the COVID-19 pandemic, with many political pundits believing that a significant reason behind Trump’s 2020 loss was the pandemic.

Polls Trending in Trump’s Favor in 2020

This may or may not be true, it’s impossible to say. However, it is true that, prior to the publicity of the coronavirus, polls generally were reading positively in Trump’s favor. The economy in America was booming, and he was planning on running on that issue, in spite of other contentions that Americans may have had with the President.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

The economy doing well didn’t mean that Trump was popular, though. For the majority of his last two years in office, Trump’s approval ratings hovered in the mid to high thirties, which is incredibly low for a president who is seeking reelection. 

Trump’s Loyalists Standing Behind Him

In spite of the low popularity rating, Trump had his loyalists that he could count on to have his back, no matter what he did. And those were the people who continued to stick by his side through the pandemic, as the Trump administration admittedly fumbled the response significantly.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough for Trump to keep his position in the White House. His loyalists showed up for him in droves during the 2020 election – before and after Election Day – but loyalists alone are not enough in the current political climate, and Trump had to cede the White House to Joe Biden. 

A Positive Public Response to Biden

Joe Biden immediately had a more positive public response to his actions than his predecessor. During the first six months of his presidency, Biden set out to engage with the public and fulfill several simple policy adjustments that he’d promised on the campaign trail, and the quick results were enough to get a hugely positive response from the American public. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/The White House

Biden’s approval rating during the first six months of his presidency hovered in the low to mid fifties, which is a significantly higher number than Trump ever reached during his entire presidency. While polling data is, of course, not completely reliable, it appeared that Biden had wrangled the opinion of the American public far better in the first months of his White House run than Trump had during his entire presidency.

Biden’s Approval Dipping As Well

Of course, these sorts of things never last, and it didn’t take long for things that were out of Biden’s control to start having a significant effect on public opinion. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

Massive inflation in the United States, high costs of gas, the war in Ukraine, and the war in Israel are just a few of the issues that Biden has been managing through the course of his presidency, issues that have massively affected public opinion against him. While none of the listed issues are truly Biden’s fault, the American public has assigned blame to the man in the director’s seat, and his polling has reflected that.

Biden’s Approval in the Thirties

Negative sentiment towards the president for these factors that are, indeed, out of his control, has led to an approval rating that looks much more like Trump’s than many Democrats want to admit. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

For a significant portion of the second half of Biden’s presidency, his approval rating has been hovering in the mid to high thirties. Several times, his approval rating has dipped to an all-time low of 36%, which many political pundits have pointed out is bad news for the president, who is ramping up his reelection campaign amidst public discontent.

Reagan Suffered from Low Approval, Too

Of course, Biden is not the only president to ever have a low approval rating during an election year, and then go on to win reelection. In fact, the Republican king himself, Ronald Reagan, suffered from a very similar phenomenon that Biden is currently experiencing.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

In 1984, Reagan was in the midst of the Cold War, record-high inflation, and the as-yet unacknowledged AIDS pandemic, and public sentiment towards him was deeply negative. His rating hovered in the 30’s through the majority of 1983 before his reelection campaign in 1984, and he went on to win a second term in the White House handily against the Democrats that year.

Biden Should Step Back

Biden is nowhere near as popular as Reagan was, though, and political pundits have pointed to his consistently low approval rating as a reason that he should step back and allow another Democrat to take the helm and attempt to win the approval of the American public. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Tia Dufour

This sentiment has gone on, even as the Republican frontrunner for President, Donald Trump, has been mired in various legal battles. Some political strategists have theorized that Trump’s legal woes might be a positive for the Democrats, but recent polling results show that that might not be the case. 

New Results from Quinnipiac

A new Quinnipiac University poll released this past Wednesday shows that President Biden’s slight lead over former President Trump is vanishing, in spite of Trump’s ongoing criminal trial in New York City.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Toglenn

Trump’s trial, which is related to the 34 counts of falsifying business records in an attempt to cover up an affair that he allegedly had with adult film star, Stormy Daniels, began last week with jury selection, and has moved into opening arguments. Trump has pled not guilty to all charges in the case, as he has with all his cases.

The Race in a Dead Heat

The poll found that the presidential race is in a dead heat, with Biden and Trump tied at 46% of support of the American people.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

This is in a head-to-head race, of course. When including the third party candidates that also have thrown their hat in the ring for the White House, the two remained tied at 37% of the vote, with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. taking 16% of the vote, Dr. Cornel West taking 3% of the vote, and Jill Stein taking another 3% of the vote.

Closing the Gap with Biden

These new numbers represent a significant closing of the gap for Donald Trump, who has been trailing Biden anywhere from 3-6%, depending on the poll whose data is being looked at.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

And as the gap between Biden and Trump has closed, Biden’s approval rating has remained dismally low. Recent numbers see the president at a new low of approval, down to 35% from the 37% he was polling in March. 61% of Americans say that they disapprove of his job performance in the new poll, up from 59%. 

Regarding the Criminal Charges

And as far as the charges that Trump is facing in New York city, a plurality of 46% said that they believed the former president did something illegal, while 45% said that he didn’t.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/SWinxy

The poll also asked about voting preferences, should Trump be convicted. 21% of respondents said that they would be less likely to vote for Trump, should he be convicted, but 61% said that their decision would not be changed, and 15% said that they would actually be more likely to vote for him. 

A Good Bellwether of Things to Come

Of course, polling data is not everything, but it’s a good indicator of which way the American public might swing in an election year. Unfortunately for the president, the numbers aren’t looking too good. 

Source: Pexels/Aaron Kittredge

There are, of course, months to go before the polls officially open for votes in the 2024 election, and a lot can happen in that time. Biden could see a significant turnaround in public opinion that would guarantee his election bid, but only time will tell what will ultimately be in store for the president, and his opponent.