The president enjoys his highest approval ratings in a year, while Donald Trump faces declining support among Republicans.
There has been a significant change in the political mood in the U.S. For more than a year, Joe Biden’s approval ratings were falling. This was the result of, among other things, the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in August 2021, inflation and the post-pandemic economic situation.
Biden’s lowest level of support was recorded in July of last year at 38%. At the time, independent voters had grown distant while Democrats had lost enthusiasm for his presidency and confidence that he was the right Democratic candidate for the next election. However, the president managed to bounce back from the bottom.
This month, support among Americans regardless of party jumped to 44-46% depending on the polls, and among registered voters to as high as 49%. According to experts, Biden was helped by the fact that the Democrats did better than expected in the November elections — they retained the majority in the Senate and lost fewer seats in the House of Representatives than expected. In addition, the Biden administration has kept many of its campaign promises on gun laws, climate change and lowering drug prices for the elderly. The change in how he is viewed was also the result of Biden’s State of the Union address, in which he laid out his vision for America’s future. This gave some undecided voters faith that Biden has an outlook and a plan for their country.
Biden says he intends to run for another term in the White House, although he has not yet officially launched his election campaign. For months, Democrats had been very skeptical about his political intentions because of his age. The 80-year-old Biden is the oldest person to serve as U.S. president. If he won the election, he would be starting his second term at the age of 82. Voters wonder whether he will be physically and mentally fit to cope with the challenges of the campaign and a second term in the White House.
As recently as November, just before the midterm elections, 54% of Democrats thought their party had a better chance of winning the presidential election with a candidate other than Biden. Now, however, both Democrats and independent voters are increasingly turning to Biden and are getting used to the idea of him becoming the Democratic Party’s nominee in the 2024 presidential election, according to an NPR/PBS News/Marist poll. Half of the poll’s respondents believe that the Democratic Party has a chance to win with Biden as their candidate. Only 45% think another candidate would have a better chance of winning. Experts note the greatest change in sentiment was noticed among white voters, those with no higher education, middle-income voters and women under 45 years old living in small towns or suburbs. And these are the demographic groups that helped Biden win in 2020.
Unlike the current president, Donald Trump, who had already announced the beginning of the campaign for a second term in the White House in the fall, is losing support even among his most ardent fans. The number of Republicans who support the former president fell to 68% from 79%. This is the lowest level of support for Trump since the 2016 election. According to the NPR/PBS News/Marist poll, the majority of Republicans and independent voters sympathetic to their party think the Republicans have a chance to win the presidential election if their candidate is someone other than Trump. Only 44% trust him.
Even Republicans who still like Trump are beginning to see that his false theories about the stolen 2020 election cast a shadow over Trump as a candidate for the White House. “They’ve put so much doubt and mistrust in the people’s minds that he might have a hard time winning,” a conservative voter told The Washington Post.
Meanwhile, it looks like Trump will have considerable competition to become the Republican Party’s nominee. Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and multimillionaire investor Vivek Ramaswamy have already officially launched their election campaigns. For now, however, Trump’s biggest rival is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has yet to announce his presidential campaign, although he already enjoys nationwide notoriety among conservative voters and 66% support in the NPR/PBS News/Marist poll. DeSantis is 44 years old, which is his advantage over 76-year-old Trump in the debate over age. He represents the same conservative views as Trump, but has more charm. They say they like his approach to the pandemic and immigration. “Some of the voters said they viewed DeSantis as someone who could unite the country in a way Trump couldn’t,” writes The Washington Post.