President Joe Biden’s approval ratings continue to dip, with half of voters surveyed disapproving of the way he is doing his job, according to an Emerson Poll released Friday.
The same pollster overestimated Biden’s support in 2020, predicting he would win Florida by 6 percentage points and Ohio by 1 percentage point just two days before the election. Trump won Florida by more than 3 percentage points and took Ohio by 8 percentage points.
Fifty percent of registered voters said they disapprove of the way Biden is handling his job, while 41% said they approve. Biden’s approval rating was 5 points higher in the last Emerson poll in September, at 46%.
The poll also found that former President Donald Trump leads Biden by 2 percentage points in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup among registered voters. Forty-five percent said they would vote for Trump in 2024, while 43% said they would pick Biden. Eleven percent of voters said they would vote for someone else, and 1% were undecided.
”With over a tenth of voters voicing support for someone else in another Trump-Biden matchup, 2024 could perhaps witness a third-party candidate reaching the required 15% support to get on the debate stage,” said Spencer Kimball, Emerson College polling director.
The poll comes after a disappointing performance for Democrats in Virginia. Republican Glenn Youngkin edged out Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s gubernatorial race after trailing in the polls for months while Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy narrowly won reelection in his reliably blue state.
The GOP’s strength extended to down-ballot contests in Virginia, including the lieutenant governor’s race, which Winsome Sears won, becoming the first woman of color to win statewide office.
The two states’ results were particularly alarming to Democrats because of where they happened. Biden carried Virginia by 10 points last year. He took New Jersey by more than 15 points. Given the scale of those victories, neither state was seen as especially competitive when this year’s campaigns began.
The poll found that 39% of registered voters surveyed said Biden’s massive spending bill would likely have a negative impact on their lives, while 34% said it would be positive. Eleven percent said they were undecided, and 16% said they didn’t believe it would have any impact.
Biden has implored lawmakers to pass his $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act, but every time House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said she will place it on the agenda, a vote hasn’t happened. Pelosi planned votes Friday but changed course at the last minute after a group of centrists said they wouldn’t vote for the bill without a full analysis from the Congressional Budget Office that shows it is paid for.
The survey, conducted Nov. 3-4, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.