Former President Donald Trump, a Republican, has taken a lead over current President Joe Biden, a Democrat, on the eve of the latter’s planned State of the Union address this week in Congress, a poll shows.
Trump, at 48 percent, leads Biden’s 45 percent by 3 percent. One percent said they would vote for someone else, 3 percent said they would not vote for either Trump or Biden, 2 percent said they would not vote, and 1 percent had no opinion.
The survey, from the Washington Post and ABC News, represents a five-point swing Trump’s way from the pollster’s last such survey nationally back in September, which had Biden leading Trump 48 percent to 46 percent.
The survey polled 1,003 American adults from January 27 to February 1, and has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.
This means that the poll was entirely completed before the public found out about a Chinese Communist Party suspected surveillance balloon—the story broke last Thursday evening, and this poll was completed on Wednesday—hovering over the continental United States. The balloon story captivated the national attention, and Republicans have leveled severe criticisms at Biden. Trump himself has said he would have shot the balloon down much earlier than Biden did. The current president allowed the balloon to traverse the entire United States before finally shooting it down when it moved over the Atlantic Ocean.
The poll showing Trump leading Biden ahead of 2024 comes just days before the State of the Union address from Biden on Tuesday night in Congress. Republicans have already been ripping Biden in the lead-up to the speech, with some such as Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) saying they will boycott the president’s address.
The poll also comes on the heels of news that former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — who later served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Trump’s presidency — is planning to launch her own GOP presidential campaign in mid-February in Charleston, South Carolina.
Haley’s announcement is the first of several other Republicans expected to enter the field against Trump. Just this weekend, New Hampshire GOP Gov. Chris Sununu said he is considering a run of his own as well. Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis is also reportedly considering running, as are former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo among others.
One key talking point that other Republicans running against or considering running against Trump are pushing is that they argue Trump would be weaker than a different candidate against Biden in 2024, and that Trump could blow it for the GOP. Sununu made that exact argument in an appearance on ABC News’s This Week on Sunday.
But now that polls are showing Trump leading Biden — including polls from establishment media outlets such as this one from the Washington Post and ABC News — it is much harder for other Republicans to deny Trump’s very serious continued national popularity. A slew of recent other polls have actually showed Trump faring better than DeSantis against Biden, for instance, including a recent Harvard-Harris poll that showed Trump beating Biden by 5 in that poll while DeSantis only led by 3. Against Vice President Kamala Harris, Trump also outperformed DeSantis, with Trump leading her by 8 points and DeSantis only leading her by 3 points.