United States president Joe Biden is losing ground to his predecessor in multiple critical battleground states – and the addition of two independent candidates to the mix does nothing to change that calculus.
If anything, the two currently announced independents could wind up hurting Biden at the margins … which is where American presidential elections are now decided.
Former president Donald Trump – who narrowly lost to Biden three years ago in a contested race – now leads his rival in six of seven swing states, according to the latest data from Bloomberg and Morning Consult. Trump currently leads Biden in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – and is tied with the incumbent in the seventh swing state, Michigan. Moreover, Trump is now leading Biden in the only swing state the incumbent was previously winning – Nevada.
In fact, polling in Nevada showed a six percentage point swing in Trump’s favor from the last battleground state polling conducted by Bloomberg and Morning Consult in late October.
Here are the head-to-head results from all seven swing states surveyed:
Those new numbers are consistent with recently released battleground state data from The New York Times/ Siena College – which showed Trump leading Biden by four percentage points in Pennsylvania, five in Arizona and Michigan, six in Georgia and a whopping eleven percentage points in Nevada. In this survey, Wisconsin was the only swing state which went for Biden – by a narrow two percentage points.
The new data is also consistent with Emerson College polling published just yesterday showing Biden trailing Trump in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Wisconsin – but leading him (narrowly) in Michigan.
Obviously, Trump and Biden – the presumptive nominees of their respective Republican and Democratic parties – would not be the only names on the 2024 ballot, assuming they make it that far in the process.
Two independent candidates have already announced, and there will be several third party candidates – including a Libertarian Party nominee and a Green Party nominee – on the ballot. Outgoing U.S. senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is also mulling a bid as part of the so-called ‘No Labels’ movement.
In announcing his decision not to seek reelection in West Virginia, Manchin said it was his intention to “travel the country and speak out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together.”
With independent contenders Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West added to the mix, Trump retained his edge in every single swing state except Michigan – which saw Biden inch ahead by a single percentage point, according to the Bloomberg and Morning Consult data.
Trump’s lead over Biden actually expanded by two percentage points in Georgia, by a single percentage point in Nevada and Wisconsin and remained unchanged in Arizona, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. In other words, the addition of these two independent candidates is (for now) marginally worse for Biden than it is for Trump.
Take a look:
Not surprisingly, those parsing these polls moved quickly to portray them in the best possible light for Biden.
“While Trump’s campaign has already sought to undercut Kennedy’s independent bid, he is still more liked among Republicans than Democrats,” the Bloomberg/ Morning Consult pollsters noted. “This gives Biden’s campaign a potential opportunity to turn Kennedy’s candidacy against Trump by playing up his fringe views that are popular in some right-wing quarters.”
For his part, Biden doesn’t think he is trailing Trump.
“There are 10 polls — eight of them I’m beating him in,” Biden told reporters on Thursday. “You guys only do two. CNN, New York Times.”
“You don’t believe you’re losing in swing states?” a reporter asked Biden.
“No, I do not,” he shot back.
As I reported last month, Democratic party officials have been working behind the scenes to “convince Biden to give up his bid for a second term” and allow a more electable candidate to “inherit the party’s nomination.” We’ve specifically heard reports from party insiders that they have prepared a “retirement” statement for Biden – along with an endorsement of California governor Gavin Newsom as the Democratic nominee.
Count on our media outlet to keep its audience up to speed on the very latest developments in the 2024 race, including the increasingly inconsequential undercard squabbling of GOP candidates not named Trump.
For those of you keeping score at home, Bloomberg and Morning Consult surveyed 4,922 registered voters between October 30 and November 7, 2023.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.
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