Joe Biden’s precipitous decline in the polls is proving to be a significant boon for Donald Trump as the 2024 GOP presidential race gains momentum. Biden’s abysmal polling has not only bolstered Trump but also weakened potential Republican rivals, sending a clear signal that “TRUMP CAN WIN.”
In the run-up to the first contests of the 2024 GOP presidential race, Biden’s dismal performance in polls has become a powerful factor in shaping the political landscape. As a neon sign reading “TRUMP CAN WIN” is illuminated, it underscores the impact of Biden’s fading popularity on the broader political narrative.
Trump’s already strong position in the fight for the Republican nomination has been further solidified by two key external events. Firstly, indictments from the Justice Department and Democratic prosecutors triggered a rally-around-Trump effect, propelling him to a higher trajectory in the race. Secondly, Biden’s consistently poor polling has eliminated any grounds for making an electability argument against Trump.
While selecting opponents through strategic advertisements is a common political tactic, Biden’s own weaknesses have unintentionally made Trump more appealing to his supporters. The primary concern among undecided Republicans has never been Trump’s policy priorities or governance effectiveness but rather his perceived ability to win elections.
Following the 2022 elections, where Republicans underperformed, Trump’s standing within the party was momentarily shaken. The electoral success of Ron DeSantis in Florida created an opportunity for an argument centered around electability—stick with Trump and risk losing, or opt for a fresh face and win. However, this electability argument lost its potency due to Biden’s declining poll numbers.
The electability debate sidesteps many issues about Trump that Republicans may prefer to avoid. Asserting that Trump can’t win is presented as a practical claim rather than a moral critique, providing a tone of sorrow rather than anger. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of this argument depends heavily on polling data, which has not cooperated due to Biden’s downward spiral.
In 2016, Trump often relied on less reputable polls to demonstrate his public support. Now, he can reference highly credible polls that depict Biden’s comprehensive collapse. Biden is losing in hypothetical matchups against Trump, with an approval rating scraping the bottom and trailing on major issues.
The latest Wall Street Journal poll indicates Trump leading Biden by 4 points in a two-way race and 6 points in a multi-candidate field. Only 37 percent approve of Biden’s job performance, while 61 percent disapprove. Trump leads significantly on economic issues, inflation, crime, foreign affairs, and public perception of physical and mental fitness for the job.
Despite the possibility of early, showy, and potentially unsustainable Trump support, it’s crucial to note that Trump never led in 2020 polling. Recent polls, including one by CNN, show Trump leading in crucial states like Georgia and Michigan, further fueling the belief among Republican voters that 2024 is a lock.
Trump’s perceived electoral prowess has grown, with polls indicating increasing confidence among Republicans that he would be the strongest general election candidate. Even in the face of criminal charges, belief in Trump’s electability is rising among Republicans, particularly in states like Iowa.
For potential rivals like Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, navigating the political landscape becomes challenging. DeSantis, despite claiming victory, faces a significant gap in national polling against Trump. Nikki Haley, while appearing strong against Biden, must contend with the overarching question for Republicans—can Trump win?
The Democrats’ ideal scenario involves Biden’s weakness being illusory, leading Republicans to nominate Trump based on current polling only to discover his weaker standing against Biden. However, the prevailing possibility is that Biden’s political standing is indeed dire, potentially paving the way for Trump’s resurgence to the White House.
In the realm of political axioms among Republicans, the idea that Trump benefits from having formidable enemies finds its best proof in Biden’s political unraveling.