President Biden trailed former President Trump on major policy comparisons, including by more than 20 points on the question of which candidate would better handle the economy, according to a new national NBC News poll.
Respondents said Trump would be more competent and effective, holding a 16 point lead over Biden in the category. Trump also held a 23 point lead over Biden in having the necessary mental and physical health to be president.
The poll comes as Biden has the lowest approval rating of his presidency at 37 percent.
The survey showed respondents leaned toward Trump in various policy contrasts, including immigration, crime and violence management. Trump led Biden by 35 points when comparing which candidate would be better at securing the border and controlling immigration. Yet, Biden had a 17 point lead over who would treat immigrants humanely and protect immigrant rights. Additionally, respondents said Trump would better handle crime and violence with him leading Biden by 21 points.
The survey also showed that 60 percent of registered voters disapprove of Biden’s management of the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza. Just 36 percent of respondents approved of Biden’s handling of the economy, and 34 percent approved of his handling of foreign policy.
Biden had a slight edge over Trump, leading by 2 points, when respondents were asked who would better protect democracy. Biden also led Trump on dealing with abortion by 12 points.
Biden jumped ahead on the poll’s final question asking whom respondents would vote for if Trump is found guilty and convicted of a felony this year. Forty-five percent said they would vote for Biden in this instance compared with 43 percent who said Trump.
Matt Barreto, co-founder of BSP Research and Biden pollster from 2020, pushed back on the poll, saying, “This poll has serious sample concerns — it over-represents white voters and conservatives, and under-represents Democrats and Latinos. It’s critical to point out a poll’s shortcomings, just as much as its findings, before pundits jump to conclusions about the state of the race — especially when it appears as an outlier when placed in the context of other polls. We know that 2024 will be extremely close and we also know pre-election polls will be all over the place. The electorate is changing every cycle and pollsters must constantly update their knowledge of American demographics, otherwise they are guessing based on old models.”
The poll was conducted from Jan. 26-30 with a total of 1,000 registered voters participating. The poll’s margin of error was 3.1 percentage points.
Updated at 7:11 pm.