Trump leads 2024 matchup as Biden's approval rating sinks

After trailing Biden in 2020 polling, Trump takes narrow lead in 2024 hypothetical matchup, as Biden's approval rating continues to fall.

David Rosenberg ,

Joe Biden and Donald Trump
Joe Biden and Donald Trump
Jim Watson/Saul Loeb

Former President Donald Trump holds a narrow lead over his successor, President Joe Biden, in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup poll.

If new elections were held today, the poll found, Trump would best Biden in the popular vote by one percent, 46.6% to 45.6%.

Broken down by ethnicity, Trump led among both non-Hispanic whites, besting Biden 50.4% to 43.3%, and among Hispanic/Latinos, 48.6% to 41.4%. Biden led among Asian voters, 55.8% to 32.6%, and among black voters, though by a far smaller margin than previous Democratic presidential candidates, with Trump projected to receive 28.1% of black votes to Biden's 62.3%.

The poll was conducted by Emerson, and sampled 1,200 registered voters.

Emerson’s final 2020 presidential election poll predicted Biden would defeat Trump by five points, 50% to 45%. Biden ended up winning the popular vote by a margin of 4.46 points.

The new Emerson poll also found Trump is by far the most popular candidate within the GOP for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, leading the pack with 66.8%, followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in a distant second with 9.7%, former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley with 6.8%, former Vice President Mike Pence with 5.5%, and Utah Senator Mitt Romney with 2.7%.

The poll also offered other hypothetical matchups, including pitting Senator Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, against Biden. In this scenario, Biden won the poll by double digits, 42.4% to 22.9%.

DeSantis performed better than Romney, but still failed to best Biden in the poll, with the incumbent winning reelection by a double digit margin, 47.8% to 35.6%.

Biden’s approval ratings, which remained in net positive territory from his inauguration until August 20th, have now fallen to an average of negative 4.1 points, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.

Just 45.2% of Americans, according to the rolling average of polls, approve of Biden’s job performance, compared to 49.3% who disapprove.

Of the latest nine polls included in the average, Biden had a net positive rating in just two, while he was in negative territory in seven, including an ABC/Washington Post poll which showed 51% of Americans, without screening for registered or likely voters, disapproving of Biden’s job performance. Just 44% say they approved.

Biden’s slide in the polls began shortly after inauguration, when he enjoyed a net approval of +19.5, according to the RealClearPolitics rolling average of polls.

Yet the president remained in positive territory until the Taliban takeover of Kabul last month, and a massive double suicide bombing attack on a Kabul airport by ISIS-linked terrorists which killed 13 US soldiers.

Despite his recent decline in job approval ratings, however, Biden’s polling numbers remain higher than Trump’s at this point his presidency. At this point in 2017, Trump held a net negative approval rating of 16.1 points, with an average job approval of 39.7%, according to the RCP average of polls.