New poll suggests Biden, Trump might not be locks

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

Although polls about 2024 that occur in 2023 should be taken at best with a grain of salt, it bears noting that a recent offering from Roanoke College shows people not named Joe Biden or Donald Trump faring better than the current and former presidents in the race for the Oval Office. 

The Roanoke College poll shows both Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin tracking favorably in comparison to Trump and substantially better than Biden. 

“When we asked Virginia Republicans in our poll who they would most prefer to be the Republican nominee for president in 2024, two candidates stood out among the rest: Trump and DeSantis,” Bryan Parsons, senior political analyst at the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research and the Roanoke College Poll, wrote. “The rest of the potential field of candidates received a little over a quarter of the remaining support combined.”

Youngkin, who like DeSantis, is not currently a candidate for president, received quite the bump from the in-state poll – Roanoke’s survey population was exclusively Virginians – but that in itself shows that the governor is popular with the people with the best angle on appraising the job he is doing. 

Fifty-seven percent of respondents indicated that they approved of the job Youngkin is doing. However, the majority were against his running for president. 

“While Youngkin has not yet announced a run for president, we found that 34% of Virginians think he should run for president and 54% think he should not,” Parsons writes. “Among Republicans, 42% think he should seek the Republican nomination for president, which is down 10 points from November.”

Voter opinions in Virginia might explain why Youngkin has sent mixed messages about his future plans. As reported by the Washington Post, Youngkin has resumed his national slate of speaking engagements but has not made any truly meaningful steps toward declaring. 

If we can extrapolate anything from the Roanoke poll, it’s that Youngkin is substantially more popular than Biden. The president’s approval rating in Virginia is at 40%, according to the poll, which would make Youngkin a favorite to defeat Biden in Virginia if nowhere else. 

Similarly, DeSantis would stand as a favorite in a race against Biden, although not by as wide a margin as Youngkin. However, both governors would fare better than Trump against Biden in Virginia. Of the three Republicans, only Trump was projected to lose head-to-head against Biden. 

“In a matchup between Biden and Trump, Biden has a slight edge over Trump, 47% to 45%. Among Independents, Biden and Trump are in a statistical tie at 44%,” Parsons writes. “In a matchup between Biden and DeSantis, DeSantis has a slight edge over Biden, 47% to 44%, though that edge grows larger among Independents at 48% to 40%, respectively. In a matchup between Biden and Youngkin, Youngkin has the edge over Biden 54% to 39%, including a significant advantage among Independents at 54% to 35%, respectively.”

It can’t be stated firmly enough that the Roanoke Poll does not speak for the entirety of the nation. In other polls, Trump has tracked as the favorite to emerge from the Republican primary.