Trump Takes the Lead Over Biden in Latest Polls as General Election Kicks Off

Former President Donald Trump, expected to be the Republican nominee in 2024, has established a steady and strong lead over current Democratic President Joe Biden at the start of the general election campaign.

Numerous mainstream media polls, including those from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CBS News, and Fox News, indicate Trump’s lead over Biden as more than a dozen states prepare to vote this Tuesday, joining those that have already cast their ballots.

Trump has the opportunity to eliminate his final Republican primary opponent, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, with a strong showing on Super Tuesday. Haley herself has described Super Tuesday as her final chance, and if Trump wins all the states voting this week—something he has done in every state so far, and the polling in these upcoming states indicates an even stronger performance from him—Haley may concede before President Biden delivers his State of the Union address on Thursday evening in Congress. This marks the formal entry of the 2024 general election, where Trump and Biden are poised for the most significant rematch in U.S. political history, and Trump aims to achieve the most significant rematch in U.S. political history, and Trump aims to achieve the most substantial political comeback in the history of mankind.

These recent polls are highly promising for the former president’s prospects: He is ahead in each of them, and upon closer examination of demographics and issue questions, Biden fares even worse among crucial groups that he would need to win over to retain the White House.

The CBS News/YouGov poll released on Sunday contains concerning signs for Biden and encouraging news for Trump. Firstly, the former president leads the current president 52 percent to 48 percent in a direct comparison. The fact that Trump is in the majority support range should be worrying for Biden, indicating that Trump has the backing of the majority of the country according to this survey. This lead is also the largest CBS has ever recorded in its history of polling Trump versus Biden—a troubling statistic for the current president. Delving deeper into the numbers reveals more advantages for Trump and difficulties for Biden.Among independents, the CBS News poll shows Trump at 57 percent and Biden at 42 percent—a 15-point advantage for Trump among the crucial bloc that could sway November’s election.

But that’s not all. A larger proportion of voters, 46 percent, rated Trump’s presidency as either excellent or good compared to Biden, who only received 33 percent in this category. Additionally, fewer voters, 53 percent, rated Trump’s presidency as fair or poor compared to Biden, who received 67 percent. These questions suggest that when faced with a binary choice between the two, the same independents and swing voters who supported Biden four years ago may now lean towards Trump.

Furthermore, when considering how each candidate would handle inflation, the situation worsens for Biden. A significant majority of those surveyed by CBS News and YouGov, 55 percent, believe that Biden’s policies will lead to price increases. Only 17 percent believe that Biden’s policies will decrease prices, and 27 percent believe that his policies will have no impact. Conversely, with Trump, more voters—44 percent—believe that his policies will lower prices, while 34 percent believe that his policies will increase prices, and 22 percent believe that his policies will have no effect on prices.

Regarding immigration and the border, the CBS poll is even more unfavorable for Biden. A majority, 50 percent, believe that Biden’s policies increase the number of migrants entering the country, while only 22 percent believe that his policies decrease the number, and 28 percent believe that his policies have no effect. Conversely, for Trump, a vast majority of 72 percent believe that his policies decrease the number of migrants entering the country, while just 9 percent believe that his policies increase the number, and 19 percent believe that his policies have no effect.

The CBS poll highlights other problems for Biden and advantages for Trump, including questions about who is physically or mentally fit to be president, on abortion and in-vitro fertilization, and on who can best protect democracy.

The CBS poll, conducted from February 28 to March 1, surveyed 2,159 adults and has a margin of error of 2.8 percent.

In addition to the CBS poll, Trump is also leading in the Fox News poll, also released on Sunday. This poll surveyed 1,262 registered voters from February 25 to February 28 and has a margin of error of 2.5 percent. It shows Trump leading Biden 49 percent to 47 percent in a head-to-head matchup. When third-party candidates are included, Trump’s lead over Biden actually increases to 3 percent, with Trump at 41 percent, Biden at 38 percent, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at 13 percent, Cornel West at 3 percent, and Jill Stein at 2 percent.

The Fox News poll shows Trump making significant inroads into traditionally Democratic demographics, especially among minority and young voters.

“Trump’s advantage comes from record or near-record support among key Democratic groups, while maintaining strong support among his own constituencies,” Fox News’ Victoria Balara wrote in a piece revealing the poll results. “For instance, 28% of Black voters support Trump in the head-to-head against Biden, 7 times as many as supported him four years ago (4% in February 2020).  In addition, Trump has significant support among voters under age 30 (51%) and Democrats (8%), with near-record support among Hispanics (48%) and suburban women (43%).”

The Fox News poll also revealed some highly concerning statistics for Biden regarding the border and immigration.

“Almost 8 in 10 voters say the situation at the southern border is either a major problem (37%) or an emergency (41%) and that Congress deserves a great deal (52%) or some (29%) of the blame for no action,” Balara wrote. “Fewer, though still 7 in 10, say the Biden administration’s lack of enforcement is the cause for the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border (47% a great deal, 25% some).”

A Wall Street Journal poll conducted by Fabrizio Lee, also released on Sunday, revealed similarly positive figures for Trump and concerning figures for Biden. Initially, the headline of the Wall Street Journal survey showed Trump leading Biden in a one-on-one contest by 47 percent to 45 percent. It also indicated Trump’s lead in a multi-candidate scenario, with 40 percent to Biden’s 35 percent, while Kennedy secured 9 percent, West 2 percent, Stein 1 percent, and Libertarian candidate Lars Mapstead 1 percent.

What’s more intriguing in this Wall Street Journal survey than the headline figures are certain issue-based queries. In fact, immigration and border control have now taken the lead as the most critical issue—overtaking the economy. In the Wall Street Journal’s December 2023 poll, the economy was the predominant issue, with 21 percent of respondents stating it was their top concern, while only 13 percent mentioned immigration. In December, no other issue reached double digits. Now, the situation has completely reversed:In February 2024, immigration is the primary issue, with 20 percent naming it as such, while the economy has slipped to second place at 14 percent. Once more, no other issue has reached double-digit levels.

What’s more, on those number one and two issues—the economy and immigration—Biden gets terrible reviews from Americans. The Wall Street Journal poll found strong majorities disapproved either strongly or somewhat of how Biden is handling the economy (58%), how he is handling inflation and rising costs (60%), how Biden is handling immigration (66%), and how Biden is handling border security (65%). Majorities have also turned against Biden on major foreign policy questions, with 50 percent either somewhat or strongly disapproving of how he is handling the war in Ukraine and 60 percent somewhat or strongly disapproving of how he is handling Israel’s war with Hamas.

The Wall Street Journal poll surveyed 1,745 registered voters from February 21 to February 28 and has a margin of error of 2.5 percent.

All of these surveys released on Sunday, of course, come in the wake of a poll from the New York Times, released on Saturday, which showed Trump leading Biden by 5 points, 48 percent to 43 percent. Like the Fox News poll, the Times survey showed Trump making inroads into traditionally Democratic constituencies.

The Times survey indicated that Trump and Biden are tied with women voters, and Trump is ahead of Biden among Hispanic voters. Furthermore, Trump is making significant inroads among working-class voters of color, eroding Biden’s advantage in that demographic.

What all these numbers illustrate is that as the nation shifts its focus to the general presidential election fairly early this year—Super Tuesday this week and Biden’s State of the Union address on Thursday mark the start of the contest in early March, much earlier than in previous cycles like 2020 or 2016 when the campaign didn’t pick up until later in the spring—Trump holds a clear lead over Biden, and this election is Trump’s to lose. This marks a significant turnaround for the former president, who continues to fend off legal challenges from various fronts, and a concerning trend for the current president, who is slipping into worrisome territory.