President Biden Might be in Better Shape Than You Think

| pppadmin

PPP conducted a poll for our friends at the Northwest Progressive Institute in Washington state last week and found Joe Biden up by 16 points, 54-38.

On the surface that may seem like a ‘who cares’ finding- no one is arguing Washington is going to be competitive this fall. The reason we think it’s noteworthy is that Biden’s lead was pretty close to his 19 point margin of victory in the state last time.

That speaks to a broader trend in our polling- while we, like everyone else, find President Biden in a weaker position than 2020 it’s only by a modest margin. We see a race that’s a sheer toss up, not one where the sky is falling and Donald Trump is a clear favorite.

Why listen to us? The run up to last week’s special election in NY CD 3 featured endless coverage of a ‘toss up’ race where no one knew what was going to happen. We did two polls in the final stretch of the campaign for major national organizations and found Tom Suozzi up by an average of 7.5 points, very similar to his final 8 point margin of victory. We were more bullish for Democrats than the public polls and pundits and we were right- if we are about Biden too, people shouldn’t be so quick to count him out.

Admittedly every now and then we conduct a poll where we do find Biden faring 6 or 7 points worse somewhere than he did in 2020.

What’s interesting when we dig in on those polls is that almost everyone who’s undecided voted for Biden last time around. In some cases it’s young people unhappy about the situation in the Middle East, in others it’s people who aren’t happy about Biden’s job performance but don’t like Donald Trump either and decided last time that they thought Biden was the better alternative. If the undecideds in those surveys voted for the same person they did in 2020, the status of the race in those places would look nearly identical to Biden-Trump round one.

There aren’t a ton of people who voted for Biden last time who are firmly for Trump this time- and that may give Biden more room to grow if he can get past supporters back in his column over the next eight months.

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