Light Wave


2024 polls cause concern for Biden reelection bid

By Jake Beardslee · October 25, 2023

In brief…

  • Biden campaign confident despite close polls, while critics worry about his reelection chances.
  • Some polls show Trump leading, others have Biden ahead, pointing to another close election.
  • Trump remains front-runner for GOP nod despite legal woes, while some Democrats want alternative to Biden.
  • Biden campaign taking steps like more staff, ad spending, and swing state testing to prepare for tight race.
Recent polls indicate the 2024 U.S. presidential election between President Biden and former President Trump will likely be another close contest, prompting concerns from some about Biden's reelection chances given issues like his low approval rating.  Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

Recent polls indicate a tight race shaping up between President Biden and former President Trump in the 2024 presidential election. Although the race is still over a year away, Biden’s low approval ratings combined with polls showing him locked in a close contest or even trailing Trump have some political observers worried about his reelection chances.

Strategists like Dave Wasserman believe if the election was held today, Biden would lose to an indicted Trump. Wasserman points to factors like economic pessimism, Biden’s 40% approval rating, and the potential for third-party candidates to hurt Biden among young voters, in a post on X. The Biden campaign says it is not concerned about polls this far out and is focused on mobilizing its winning voter coalition.

Some polls show Trump leading Biden nationally and in key swing states like Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. But other polls indicate a Biden lead, like a recent Marist poll showing him up by 3 points. Both Obama and Reagan had similar approval ratings to Biden at this stage yet won reelection comfortably.

Close presidential elections have been the norm for decades now. Trump supporters argue he can win despite legal troubles, but critics say the charges make his electability doubtful. The race appears poised for another photo finish.

While Trump leads the wide Republican field, Biden faces only marginal opposition. Some Democrats have raised concerns about not having a strong backup option, with Rep. Dean Phillips not ruling out a primary challenge. The Biden campaign is taking steps like hiring staff and testing strategies in swing states to prepare for a competitive race.

People close to Biden say he has complained privately about his poor poll numbers, which he partly attributes to his age. Strategists say Biden’s approval must rise before Election Day but doesn’t need to top his eventual vote share. They caution that polls may not fully predict voter behavior.