NBC Poll: Biden Trails Generic Republican by Six Points Ahead of Expected 2024 Launch

President Joe Biden holds a meeting with his science and technology advisors at the White
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An NBC News poll shows that Democrat President Joe Biden trails a generic Republican significantly, ahead of his expected campaign launch this week, a major setback for the incumbent president who is likely to seek a second term.

The poll found that if Biden runs and is the Democrat nominee for president, only 41 percent of respondents would probably or definitely vote for him in November 2024. In contrast, if Biden is the Democrat nominee, 47 percent of respondents said they would probably or definitely vote for the GOP nominee, whoever it is.

That means Biden trails by 6 percent on the cusp of his expected reelection campaign launch this week, a major humiliation for the sitting president and a boon for the burgeoning Republican field which is currently led by former President Donald Trump. Biden is reportedly expected to release a video on Tuesday formally launching a 2024 reelection campaign.

The NBC News survey, conducted by Hart Research Associates/Public Opinion Strategies, polled 800 registered voters from April 14 to April 18 and has an error margin of 3.46 percent. That means Biden trailing by 6 is well outside the survey’s margin of error.

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What’s more, the intensity gap between Biden and a generic Republican is steep. Only 21 percent of respondents said they would “definitely” vote for Biden whereas 20 percent said they “probably” would. When it comes to the eventual Republican nominee, 39 percent said they “definitely” would vote for that person if up against Biden — and 8 percent said they “probably” would be voting for the Republican against Biden.

That means the “definitely” voting for the GOP nominee numbers are technically in a virtual tie with Biden’s combined “probably” and “definitely” numbers and that Biden has serious work to do to shore up Democrats skeptical of backing him again for a number of reasons. Some on the left smell blood in the water around Biden as evidenced by the entrance into the Democrat presidential primary race in recent weeks of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. officially announces his candidacy for President on April 19, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Democrats are unlikely to treat either Kennedy or Williamson seriously — there is next to zero chance Biden will participate in any debates for instance — but the fact that there are splits like this is certainly concerning to Democrats.

AUSTIN, TX - FEBRUARY 23: Marianne Williamson leaves the stage after endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during a campaign rally at Vic Mathias Shores Park on February 23, 2020 in Austin, Texas. With early voting underway in Texas, Sanders is holding four rallies in the delegate-rich state this weekend before traveling on to South Carolina. Texas holds their primary on Super Tuesday March 3rd, along with over a dozen other states. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Marianne Williamson on February 23, 2020 in Austin, Texas. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, Trump of course as he has in every other poll recently leads the GOP field while his next closest competitor Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — who has not launched a widely expected campaign — lags double digits behind him. Everyone else is in single digits.

The NBC polling also suggests voters are not thrilled with the possibility — a likelihood at this stage — of a Trump-Biden rematch in 2024, however the strong numbers for the eventual Republican nominee should be reassuring to those concerned about Trump’s electability. Those 39 percent of respondents saying they will definitely back the GOP nominee means they will back Trump, if he is the guy, or if it someone else too.

This NBC poll does not seem to have tested a Trump versus Biden rematch ballot test nationally, but in other recent surveys Trump has led Biden nationally, including a recent Rasmussen Reports poll that showed Trump expanding his lead to 7 percent.


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