Recent polling from Rasmussen Reports, a generally right-wing polling firm, shows a lead nationally for President Joe Biden in a potential match-up with Donald Trump in next year’s general election. Though the primaries remain ongoing, that match-up seems the most likely save for some dramatic intervention like Trump becoming incapacitated from one of his criminal cases.
One on one, Biden had 46 percent of the support among likely voters, while Trump had 42 percent. Only three percent were undecided.
A separate match-up that also included independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. pushed Trump to a lead of one percentage point while Kennedy got 12 percent nationally, but there is no recent precedent for a presidential contender outside the major parties getting anywhere close to that level of support. Gary Johnson, a high-profile third party candidate in 2016, got about three percent. The Libertarian pick fell to about one percent in 2020. And in the general elections, they’re often the highest vote-getters among presidential candidates neither Democratic nor Republican.
The Rasmussen polling was completed November 12. Though Trump has often characteristically claimed supposedly strong results from polling that show him leading massively, the reality is more complicated, with the results generally mixed. Recent polling from North Carolina even found a slight lead for Biden in a general election face-off, though Trump managed to win the closely divided state in both 2020 and 2016.
Democrats can also look to recent election results, which have seen victories for the party in statewide races from Kentucky to Pennsylvania. This month, Democrats even took unified control of the Virginia legislature heading into next year. The state currently has a Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin.
And the records on which Biden and Trump can run in the general election next year are worlds apart. Democrats in office have worked to lower prescription drug costs, boost domestic manufacturing, expand the reach of clean energy, and bring down costs for consumers in areas like vehicular gas supplies. Trump has faced four criminal cases and spends much of his time complaining in continually personal language about opponents of his from both now and years ago. A big difference!