New NBC News Poll Is a Good One for Biden and the Dems
Biden Leads Trump 49-45, Dems Are Up 2 In The Congressional Generic
I try not to write on the weekends, but a new NBC News poll came out this morning that I felt I had to send to folks. It is a good poll for us, and we need to take the wins when they come. Some quick highlights:
Biden leads Trump 49-45. He leads women (55-38), 18-34 year olds (65-30), Latinos (66-26), Indies (47-33). These are good, healthy numbers.
Dems lead in Congressional Generic 48-46, up from 46-47 in January. Congressional generic asks “which party are you supporting next year for Congress?” These are good, healthy numbers.
Trump’s lead over DeSantis doubles from 46-31 (+15) to 51-22 (+29). A big yikes for the Florida governor.
Like other polls DeSantis is already remarkably unpopular with the overall electorate. He is -16 here, -19/20 in Civiqs and Biden is only -9 in this one. While voters do not have a lot of information about DeSantis what they do have so far is really bad for him. It suggests, like Trump, he may have a low general election ceiling. I remain really surprised by how intense his negatives are this early - it has to be the most worrisome data out there right now for the Republicans for it suggests their problems go far beyond Trump. Here’s how the positive/negative questions came out:
Biden 39-48 (-9)
DeSantis 30-46 (-16)
Trump 34-56 (-22)
As we saw in 2022 the Biden approval rating is once again not a good gauge for understanding the election this cycle. While he may not be popular, he is more popular than his opponents. The constant focus on his low approval rating led a lot of commentators astray in 2022, and it is doing so again this year. The most powerful force in American politics over the last 3 election cycles has been fear and opposition to MAGA, and if you aren’t talking about that you are leaving out the most important part of the story.
The NBC News poll had a good track record last cycle so this one is worth paying attention to. I also think the numbers are consistent with the election results from 2022 and early 2023. So it feels right to me, plausible, and its a good poll for us. A reminder Biden won by 4 points last time, 51-47, and I for one am very skeptical that Trump can grow his vote from 2020. To me, today, it is far more likely that Trump ends up at 45% than 49-50%, which is why I think it is important we stay focused on expanding our coalition, growing our vote and Getting to 55% in 2024.
In May, I wrote a memo with some thoughts on how to understand polling this early in the election cycle. But a few quick reminders:
Polling only tells you where things are right now, and cannot predict what is going to happen in the election. This data is only relevant for today and could be different in a few weeks or even days based on events.
In general, it’s important to not let any single poll drive your understanding of politics. Polls can err, and many have a 3-4 point margin of error built in so they are far more a sketch than a photograph. In this poll Biden is up 4, but with margin of error that could be 6-7 or 1-2. A common mistake folks make is to ascribe a greater degree of accuracy to a poll than the poll can deliver. The results are really a range, not an exact number. It’s a sketch, not a photograph. This is really important.
Try to look at trends - how are things moving over time? That is often the most important data. In this poll we see movement for Trump in the GOP primary, and for Dems in the Congressional generic. This is important data.
This is a good poll for us. I think it is where the election is today. It’s another sign that if we keep doing the work we can have a good election in 2024, the kind of election we all want to have. But it is not guaranteed, and we have to keep working hard.
Happy Sunday all - Simon