State of the Union Did Not Improve Voters’ View of Biden

by State Brief

President Joe Biden’s latest State of the Union did not secure increased support among voters according to new polling data.

Although the speech was widely lauded by major news outlets, voters who listened did not express a wave of newly ignited confidence in the incumbent Democrat. A poll from Yahoo News and YouGov conducted after the speech – which was reportedly viewed in part by 6 out of every 10 Americans – found that Biden failed to fan any flames of enthusiasm among his possible supporters.

The organizations found in a previous poll conducted in late January that 45% of participants were in favor of former President Donald Trump while 44% were in favor of Biden. After the March 7 State of the Union, 44% of participants still plan to support Biden while 46% are in favor of Trump. The poll’s authors note this difference leaves the two reelection hopefuls tied as the margin of error is 2.8%.

Additionally, the number of people who approve of the job Biden is doing as president dipped from 40% to 39% between January and March. The number of people who disapprove of Biden’s work as president went from 56% to 55%. Moreover, the number of Democrats who approve of the job Biden is doing as president slipped from 81% in January to 79% after the State of the Union.

Biden was officially declared the Democratic party’s presumptive presidential nominee on March 13 – about a week after his national address. Biden has secured at least 1,968 delegates while Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, has reached his party’s threshold of 1,215 delegates.

The Yahoo News/YouGov polls indicate that members of the Democratic Party are not thrilled by Biden’s potential reelection. The analysis noted that between the January poll and the post-State of the Union poll, support for Biden as the party’s nominee fell from 62% to 56%. During the same period, support for “someone else” rose from 28% to 35%.

In January, 76% of Democrats believed Biden had the best chance of winning. That total is now 65%. The number of people who were “unsure” if Biden had the best chance of winning increased from 17% to 23%.

Notably, roughly 26% of Democrats told pollsters that they want Biden to “drop out of the 2024 race and ask [the party] to nominate someone else for president,” while an additional 11% want the incumbent to drop out of the race if he is “struggling in the weeks before the Democratic convention in August.”

Major media outlets praised Biden’s performance at his third State of the Union address. USA Today said the 81-year-old hit “hard.” CBS News described his remarks as “defiant.” NBC News called the speech “fiery” and said that Biden sparred with his critics.

CNN reported that Biden projected “a vision of strength that’s been missing from his presidency.”

According to the outlet:

There is nothing worse for a president than looking weak. So every word, gesture, joke and admonition of Biden’s appearance was geared toward the goal of making him look strong.

In the most important moment of the 2024 election campaign so far, Biden appeared to succeed. He projected vigor and forcefulness. His voice, which has seemed reedy at times, was sonorant. He was quick off the mark as he goaded heckling Republicans, who again walked into his trap by showcasing their extremism to millions of viewers. Biden was a trenchant master of the chamber of the House of Representatives, effectively wielding the theatrics of the presidency and commanding an hour of unfiltered primetime television.

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