Former US President Donald Trump, plagued by losses in November midterms and hounded by court cases, has his standing with voters sink to a new seven year low, while President Joe Biden, still underwater, has seen his performance rating hit a new high.
Trump’s standing with voters has hit its lowest point in more than seven years, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.
In contrast, President Biden’s job approval rating, while still underwater, had jumped to its highest rating since last year. Trump has hit a firestorm with a section of the Republican party following his hand-picked candidates losing high-profile tight races in last month’s midterm elections, according to media reports.
Trump launched his 2024 presidential bid about a month ago from his Florida home, much against his close advisors and allies’ advice, in a move to preempt essentially Florida Governor Ron DeSantis from the race, but faces growing loss in his standing with voters.
Among those polled, only 31 per cent of registered voters surveyed held a favourable view of Trump, versus 59 per cent who held an unfavourable opinion of him, the poll found. This is the lowest rating of Trump since July 2015, when he launched his presidential bid and narrowly defeated Hilary Clinton of the Democrats.
Among Independent voters, without partisan support to any party, Democrats or Republicans, just 25 per cent have a favourable view of Trump, while 62 per cent virtually rejected him.
However, 70 per cent of Republican voters still have a favourable view of Trump, but 20 per cent said they saw him in an unfavourable light – marking Trump’s lowest favourability reading from his party’s voters since March 2016, as per Quinnipiac.
The poll, which surveyed 1,456 registered voters from last Thursday to Monday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.
“Former President Trump’s post presidential announcement numbers are heading in the wrong direction,” Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said in a press release. “You would have to go back at least six years to find less support for him from Republican, independent, and American voters as a whole.”
The same survey, surprisingly, found incumbent President Biden’s job approval rating, while still underwater, had jumped to its highest rating since September 2021, the poll said as quoted by multiple news outlets.
Just 43 per cent of respondents said they approved of Biden’s work, while 49 per cent disapproved – an increase from last month’s Quinnipiac poll, which showed his job approval rating at 36 per cent and his disapproval at 55 per cent.
There is strong speculation that the Democrats might field Biden again in 2024 even though he has not yet announced his candidacy for 2024 formally, but made his intention clear to run again. Media speculates that in a 2020 rematch between Trump and Biden, the latter would win hands down.
But a section of the Democratic voters doesn’t approve of Biden due to his declining health and some serious doubts about his cognitive functions to perform as a President of the US, which is fraught with too many critical decisions to take for the country and the world. The party has been looking towards his VP Kamala Harris and California Governor Gavin Newsom as alternate candidates to oppose Florida Governor DeSantis, who is being backed strongly by donors and funders and party bigwigs who see has the future of the Republican party, as he has the same strongman image of Trump but no legal baggage, political analysts said.
In a Harris or Newsom vs DeSantis, the odds favour the Republicans as he can swing the voters for Trumps’ agenda of Make America Great Again (MAGA) or Save America campaign.
Biden, who defeated Trump in 2020, has not yet announced whether he will run again in 2024, though he has signalled he would like a Trump rematch. Majorities of registered voter respondents told Quinnipiac they would not like to see Trump or Biden as a 2024 presidential nominee. Most voters, especially among the college going youth, want a fresh face and a young person.
Quinnipiac’s poll is in line with a string of recent polls that demonstrate voters’ preferences which exhibit clearly that Trump’s support is either wilting or cratering in the wake of the November midterm elections. Trump has been rudely jolted as some fellow Republicans had disassociated themselves as many of his hand-picked candidates lost high-profile races, helping Democrats expand their Senate majority in an election cycle largely expected to favour the GOP.
DeSantis, seen as a rising star in the Republican Party, easily won reelection last month and has taken a substantial lead over Trump in some early polls for the 2024 presidential run.
A Wall Street Journal (WSJ), owned by one of Trump’s once closest ally’s media baron Rupert Murdoch who has switched sides to Ron DeSantis as the future, shows DeSantis beating Trump by double digits among likely GOP primary voters, 52 per cent to 38 per cent. Though this result carries a margin of error of plus-or-minus 6 percentage points, came even as DeSantis has not announced a White House bid and just signed on to another four-year gubernatorial term in Florida.
Quinnipiac’s latest poll however did not ask the respondents about DeSantis.
Interestingly, a source close to Trump noted that a recent Morning Consult poll showed Trump holding court as the front-runner, backed by 49 per cent of potential GOP primary voters compared with 31 per cent who favoured DeSantis.