- NBC News poll has Biden at 37% and any other GOP candidate at 48%
- A Messenger/Harris poll has Trump beating Biden by 7 points
- But some Democrats now defending Biden, urging others to support him
A NBC News poll shows American voters would rather have any other Republican than Biden in the Oval Office with the president losing by double digits to a no-name contender 48% to 37%.
Biden, who turned 81 on Monday, continues to face questions about his age – he’s the oldest American president in history – and his ability to keep up with the rigors of the presidency. Some Democrats are now defending him, however, saying it’s time for the party to stop wringing its hands and support the president.
But polling data continues to show voters are worried about their choices in next year’s election with many telling pollsters they’d like another option besides Biden or Trump.
In the Messenger poll, a majority of voters think Biden – 67% – and Trump – 55% – should not run for a second term.
However, only 25% of Republicans said that of Trump while 40% of Democrats said that of Biden.
Additionally, the NBC News poll showed Trump losing to a generic Democratic candidate by 6 points – 46% to 40% – albeit a smaller margin than Biden’s.
And, in the NBC News poll, Trump only beats Biden by 2 points in a head to head matchup: 46% to 44%.
But even as some prominent Democrats – like former Obama strategist David Axelrod – voice their concerns about Biden, others are defending the president.
‘I see no prospect of an alternative right now. I think Joe Biden is in really good shape, mentally. I was with him two hours on Wednesday night. He is sharp, informed and extraordinarily discreet and insightful in comments on very sensitive policy areas like Israel and domestic challenges,’ Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut told The Hill newspaper.
‘He will beat Donald Trump if Democrats rally behind him and discard the handwringing and the eyeball rolling,’ he said.
And Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan told Democrats to stop ‘hand-wringing’ and support the president.
‘To all my fellow Democrats – STOP!! We need to stop wringing our hands over the pundits and the polls! Tuesday proved it! That was the poll that counts and voters decisively voted for Democrats and our values,’ she wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Many Democrats, including Biden himself, pointed to election results earlier this month – winning the abortion fight in Ohio, Gov. Beshear’s victory in Kentucky, and Democrats’ legislative wins in Virginia – as a good sign for their party.
‘Since I came off the sidelines to go toe to toe with Donald Trump, we haven’t stopped winning and he hasn’t stopped losing,’ Biden told donors at a fundraiser in San Francisco last week.
‘You remember Trump told us he was going to win so much we’d get get tired of winning,’ he said, adding: ‘Oh man, I shouldn’t get started.’
‘Let me tell you one thing that’s true. We got tired of Trump. The truth is the guy can’t get tired of losing,’ Biden said as the crowd roared in applause.
But others keeping flagging their concerns.
Former Obama adviser David Axelrod warned over the weekend that Biden only has a 50-50 chance of winning re-election and he shouldn’t count on Donald Trump helping him win.
Axelrod, who has been critical of Biden’s age and decision to seek a second term, told New York Times’ Maureen Dowd that Hillary Clinton mistakenly thought Trump being the Republican nominee would hand her the election and that Biden should not make the same mistake.
‘I think he has a 50-50 shot here, but no better than that, maybe a little worse,’ Axelrod said. ‘He thinks he can cheat nature here and it’s really risky. They’ve got a real problem if they’re counting on Trump to win it for them. I remember Hillary doing that, too.’
Recent polling from The New York Times and Siena Collegethat showed Biden trailing behind Trump in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Biden is ahead only in Wisconsin, by 2 percentage points. Biden won all six states in the 2020 election.
Axelrod and other Democrats – in the aftermath of the polling numbers – issued warnings about Biden’s re-election chances.
But White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday said it was Biden’s experience – over 50 years in the government – that counts.
‘There’s no alarm happening behind the scenes and I’m certainly not going to comment on everybody who has something to say,’ she said at her daily press briefing.
‘What I can speak to is how we see this, what our perspective. Our perspective is that it’s not about age, it’s about the president’s experience.’