The Biden campaign has been putting its best spin on the new polls showing the president behind former President Donald Trump if they had a rematch of the 2020 race next year.
They talk about how then-President Barack Obama, for whom Joe Biden was vice president, was trailing against other possible candidates a year out from the 2012 vote.
“Predictions more than a year out tend to look a little different a year later,” Biden campaign spokesperson Kevin Munoz told The Hill publication earlier in November.
“Don’t take our word for it: Gallup predicted an eight-point loss for President Obama only for him to win handedly a year later,” Munoz added.
Obama would go on to defeat Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney by nearly 5 million votes in the popular tally in 2012 and by an overwhelming 332-206 in the decisive Electoral College count.
Numbers Game Realities
But the Biden campaign spin ignores some glaring realities in the numbers game.
Today, Biden trails Trump by four points in a Fox News national poll conducted Nov. 10-13. He also trails Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by five points and former U.N. ambassador and ex-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley by 12 points in a hypothetical 2024 general election.
A few other polls favor Biden, including a YouGov poll conducted Nov. 20-27, that has Biden up 2 points on Trump.
Obama was ahead of Romney by the same margin in a Fox News poll (44%-42%) from early December 2011.
Perhaps more telling and troubling for the Democrats is that Biden’s numbers take a turn for the worse regarding what people think about his job performance and whether he is too old to serve a second term.
Biden's approval rating keeps slipping and has done more so since the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7.
“I do not support his support of Israel,” Meg Furey, 40, a Democrat from Austin, Texas, told NBC News.
“Failed promises, student loans, foreign policy in general,” said Democrat Zico Schell, 23, of San Diego, when asked why he disapproves of Biden’s job performance.
Perceptions, Performance, and Age
“Joe Biden is at a uniquely low point in his presidency, and a significant part of this, especially within the Biden coalition, is due to how Americans are viewing his foreign policy actions,” said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, who conducted the NBC news survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies.
A New York Times/Siena College poll released earlier this month from the six closest states Biden won in 2020 — Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Michigan — showed that 71% of registered voters in those states believe Biden, who turned 81 on Nov. 20, is too old to be an effective president.
He is less than four years older than Trump, 77, but the perceptions are there, and it will likely be challenging for Biden supporters to spin that the other way.
Republican pollster Neil Newhouse, the lead pollster on Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, said, “Joe Biden is not the campaigner and communicator that Barack Obama was. The Obama folks had the full resources of a strong candidate at their disposal, and I don’t think the Biden campaign does.”