It can be hard to put any stock in poll numbers after witnessing the outcomes of the 2016 presidential election (hi, President Donald Trump) and the 2022 midterms (so long, red wave that never was). When you look at President Joe Biden’s approval ratings and poll numbers from the last three years, they have been less than ideal.
The media and Democrats, however, have largely written them off as normal fluctuations that are to be expected over the course of a presidency – that is until the findings from the most recent ABC News/Washington Post survey were released on Sunday. The numbers have dipped so low for the president that ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos called them “just brutal,” while former DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile said the “sobering” stats keep her up at night.
On Tuesday’s show, Megyn was joined by Stu Burguiere, host of Stu Does America, and author and journalist Dave Marcus to discuss the latest polling and why it doesn’t bode well for President Biden’s reelection chances.
Biden’s Plummeting Poll Numbers
To set the stage for just how bad things have gotten for President Biden in the two weeks since announcing his plans to seek reelection in 2024, Megyn ran through some of the findings from the ABC News/Washington Post poll, which was conducted between April 28 and May 3.
The president’s approval rating hit a new low at 36 percent – down six points since the same poll was conducted in February. Comparatively, 56 percent of respondents disapprove of President Biden’s performance.
The demographic breakdown seems to show the commander-in-chief may be losing his base. His approval rating with Black Americans is at 52 percent (down from 82 percent when he took office), and 40 percent of Hispanics approve of his performance (a point above his previous low). Just 39 percent of women are on board with the job the president is doing (a new low), while his 30 percent approval among independents matches his worst performance to date.
It should be noted that among independents who voted for him in 2020, President Biden still has a 57 percent approval rating. “That’s better, but he needs to get more than that,” Megyn said. “These are the people who already got in his camp, so he’s losing at least 30 percent of those because 30 percent say they disapprove.”
When it comes to mental competency, the numbers are similarly damning. Some 63 percent say President Biden does not have the mental sharpness to serve effectively as president. That is up from 43 percent when he took office in 2020. Former president (and 2024 GOP frontrunner) Donald Trump scores better on that question with 54 percent saying he has the mental acuity to hold office.
On the enthusiasm front, 44 percent say they would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ vote for Trump in 2024, while 38 percent say the same about voting for President Biden – a six percentage point advantage for Trump. In a matchup between President Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSeantis, 42 percent say they’d vote for the Republican and 37 percent would back the incumbent.
In an interview with MSNBC on Friday night before the ABC News/Washington Post poll was released, President Biden dismissed concerns about his floundering support by saying the numbers are in line with past presidents. But Burguiere says the figures are, in fact, historic. “I went all the way back to Harry Truman… and there are no examples of any president ever who has the numbers that Joe Biden has and won re-election,” he shared. “The only one he’s ahead of… is Jimmy Carter – who, you may remember, did not win re-election.”
What These Numbers Mean for Democrats
The 2024 election is still 18 months away, but, when you consider Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Marianne Williamson are pulling in respectable numbers as declared Democratic candidates, the lack of support for President Biden cannot be dismissed. “His constituency has clearly turned on him and we know that because he’s already got 30 percent of his party wanting RFK or Marianne Williamson,” Megyn noted. “I don’t know how he turns that around.”
Marcus admitted that he was initially skeptical of Kennedy’s success in the polls but has since taken it more seriously. “I think we all looked at that 20 percent and our immediate reaction was like, that’s just ‘anybody but Joe,’” he explained. “I’m not so sure about that anymore.” What Marcus finds unique about Kennedy is his heterodox views. He is skeptical of vaccines, (“which is totally against the Democratic Party that is the party of vax and boost,” Marcus noted), he does not believe biological men shouldn’t play sports with biological women, and he is not sold on U.S. involvement in the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
Could it be that Kennedy is appealing to a part of the Democratic Party that has been all but forgotten in Washington, D.C.? “I’m starting to wonder if this more moderate lane in the Democratic Party that no longer exists – there’s no more Kyrsten Sinema, there’s soon to be no more Joe Manchin – wants that and is expressing that in these polls,” Marcus said. “I think it’s too soon to say, but it really jumped out at me that an RFK, Jr. could be at 20 percent.”
What These Numbers Mean for Republicans
So, just how much stock should the GOP put in these latest poll numbers? Megyn pointed to Andy McCarthy’s piece for National Review that essentially cautions Republicans to not believe the hype. “Like, the Democrats want Republicans to believe that Trump can win… because they don’t believe it,” Megyn shared. “They don’t think the ladies in the suburbs will actually pull the lever for him, so they want the right to get excited about polls like this.”
Marcus, however, said the former president can never be counted out. “We all lived through 2016 – there was absolutely no chance that Donald Trump could win… then, lo and behold, there’s tears in Brooklyn,” he said. “So of course Donald Trump can win this race.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Burguiere and Marcus by tuning in to episode 546 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.