Light Wave


Trump defies odds in 2024 polling despite impeachments and legal drama

By Jake Beardslee · November 24, 2023

In brief…

  • Dissatisfaction with economy and Biden himself appears to buoy Trump
  • Trump retains firm base inside Republican Party; some swing voters may be wavering
  • Biden allies say outlook could shift as election gets closer and contrasts sharpen
Trump and Biden locked in close race in early 2024 polling, but much uncertainty remains.  Joe Biden: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (source: Joe Biden)/Wikimedia

Recent polls indicate that former President Donald Trump remains competitive against President Joe Biden in a hypothetical 2024 rematch, with Trump leading by small margins in battleground states and nationally. This comes as Trump faces legal troubles and criticism from former allies.

Strategists cite voter dissatisfaction with Biden and forgetfulness about the tumult of the Trump era as reasons for Trump’s continued viability. As Sarah Matthews, a former Trump spokesperson who resigned after January 6th, stated, “They’re both just incredibly weak candidates.” Voters are “focused on the now” with concerns about inflation, global instability, and Biden’s age.

An NBC News survey found 46% for Trump and 44% for Biden among registered voters. A Yahoo News/YouGov poll had similar results. Quinnipiac University showed Trump up 48% to 46%. Analysts say this reflects Biden’s currently poor approval ratings rather than genuine support for Trump. As Grant Reeher of Syracuse University said to The Hill, “It’s not so much people saying I’d rather have Donald Trump than Joe Biden, it’s people saying I’m not happy with where the country is going.”

GOP strategist Rob Stutzman argued Trump retains a “devoted, almost cult-like base” within the Republican Party. And some believe worries about the economy could cause swing suburban voters who backed Biden in 2020 to reconsider Trump. An NBC poll found only 38% approve of Biden’s economic leadership.

Biden allies counter it’s too early to make forecasts about 2024. They expect attitudes to shift once Trump is clearly the nominee and his record comes under more scrutiny.