ABC News political correspondents and hosts expressed surprise as they analyzed the findings of a recent poll conducted in collaboration with the Washington Post.
OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The poll, which was released last week, revealed that President Joe Biden is trailing former President Donald Trump by approximately 10 points.
“These numbers are simply staggering for the sitting president,” Rick Klein, ABC News’s political director, began. “Forty-four percent of people in this poll say they are not as well off as they were at the start of the Biden administration two and a half years ago.
“Those are the worst numbers that we’ve seen in our ‘ABC News/Washington Post’ polling. And it’s a question we’ve been asking going back to the Reagan administration,” he continued.
“And when – when you dive into the big questions around the economy, we know President Biden has been out there trying to make the case, unemployment is low, he’s been talking about how inflation has been easing, but people aren’t buying it. You covered some of the reasons why. Gas prices, food prices, grocery prices, and the like. Right now, on the big picture in the economy, 74 percent of the country, that’s about three-quarters of Americans who say the economy is either not so good or downright poor.”
Anchor Martha Raddatz responded, “And it’s not just the state of the nation or the policies that are giving people pause on President Biden. It seems to be the man himself.”
“Yes, Martha, let’s talk about age because we know for sure that the country certainly is,” Klein replied, adding:
President Biden would be 82 years old on Inauguration Day 2025. That’s how old he is. He’s not getting any younger. And, of course, perceptions around his ability to perform in the job are not getting any better. Right now, three-quarters of Americans, 74 percent, say that he is too old to effectively serve in a second term. That compares to about 50 percent who say the same about Donald Trump.
And it’s not just Republicans or independents who are skeptical over Joe Biden. This is a question we asked, should Biden be at the top of the ticket? Sixty-two percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents said they think that someone else should be the presidential nominee, although the party is deeply split on who that someone else should be.
Now, if you’re looking for a potential good sign, a positive sign for Democrats in this poll, opposition to the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe versus Wade, overturning abortion rights at the national level, remains very, very strong, 64 percent opposition. Of course, it was Donald Trump’s three Supreme Court justices who authored that opinion and made it possible.
“Most of these numbers paint a bleak picture for President Biden’s re-election chances, Rick,” Raddatz noted.
“Maybe the most startling number in our poll is this, the hypothetical matchup, a rematch of Donald Trump versus Joe Biden. Our poll with the – with “The Washington Post” pegging this at 51 percent to — for – for Donald Trump over Joe Biden. That is a nine-point edge,” Klein noted. “Now, that’s only a couple of points difference from our last poll in May, but it is significantly different than most recent polls. It is an outlier compared to other polls we’ve seen recently.”
He then appeared to try to explain away the results as an aberration rather than a true reflection of the electorate.
“There’s a good chance that there’s people just trying to send a message in the polling right now, given the other frustration we’ve seen. We know in this poll there’s some – some quirks, some oddities around the number of black voters and Hispanic voters, the younger voters who seem to be supporting Donald Trump,” Klein said, citing the survey’s atypically high levels of support for the former president among key Democratic constituencies.