THE WHITE HOUSE — President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign said Monday it’s not worried after a U.S. political poll showed former President Donald Trump leading Biden in a 2024 matchup in key battleground states.
In the poll, voters cited their long-held concerns about Biden’s advanced age and the economy, but also new concerns over the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.
In a statement shared with VOA from Biden’s campaign, White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz seemed unfazed.
“We’ll win in 2024 by putting our heads down and doing the work, not by fretting about a poll,” he said.
The New York Times/Siena College poll predicts that Trump would triumph over Biden in five of six swing states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. The poll showed Biden ahead in Wisconsin.
Pollsters looked at the usual issues: abortion, preserving democracy, the economy, national security and immigration — but also at how voters see Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters made their feelings on that last issue clear, gathering at the White House gates to express their dissatisfaction with Biden’s support for Israel.
Biden, meanwhile, is moving forward, crisscrossing the country to sell Americans on how his administration has improved their lives. On Monday in his home state of Delaware, he touted a $16 billion effort along the Atlantic seaboard.
“Twenty-five different projects, all to build the Northeast Corridor from Boston to Washington, is part of my agenda to invest in America,” he said. “And I’ve been fighting for this for a long time.”
It’s a stark contrast to Trump’s approach. The former president also spoke Monday as he arrived in New York to testify in a civil fraud case over accusations that he wildly overstated his net worth. He claims that his 91 felony charges, in four different jurisdictions, are all politically motivated.
“I’m leading all over the place,” Trump said. “But it’s a very unfair situation. This is really election interference. It’s kind of ridiculous.”
Pollsters say no one should be surprised that Americans are so deeply conflicted — but some, such as polling expert Mark Mellman and political scientist Todd Belt, question this poll.
“Anybody who’s paid close attention, I think, to American politics over the last number of years would assume it’s going to be a close race,” said Mellman, a Democratic pollster who also leads advocacy group Democratic Majority for Israel. The polls have consistently shown it to be a very close race. I think this poll is a bit of an outlier. It shows more support for Trump in some of these states than in lots of other polls, too.”
Mellman said he reads this recent poll as showing rare voter consensus on the Israel-Hamas conflict, in which both front-runners say they strongly support Israel.
Some analysts say that predictions this far ahead of a poll aren’t useful.
“People I have talked to from the Biden campaign have told me that No. 1, it’s way too far out,” said Belt, a professor of political management at The George Washington University. “And No. 2, they think that when it comes down to a general election, and it’s a binary choice between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, they think Joe Biden takes it because they believe that people just don’t want to go back to the chaos of the Trump years.”
The poll comes as Americans are voting this week, choosing state and local representatives and ballot initiatives.