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NEWSMAX: Olson on Polling African Americans, Trump's Expanding Map, & Biden's Silver-Haired Silver Lining

Jun 17, 2024

Byline: Dustin Olson

On Monday, Dustin Olson, American Pulse's Managing Partner, appeared on NEWSMAX's Wake Up America with Rob Finnerty to discuss the latest polling insights.

The segment delved into the current political landscape, highlighting Trump's leads in key swing states, Biden's declining support among Black voters, and the broader geographic and demographic shifts. Watch the segment.

Then, check out the overview of all of the recent polling since the historic Trump verdict and the trends we are seeing in public opinion.

Big Takeaways–Overview of Polling this Week for Polling Segments:

  • Trump leads in all seven swing states in the RCP Average, and if states like VA and MN continue to pop up as “in play,” it’ll become a whack-a-mole situation for Biden.

  • Biden’s slide with Black voters is real, and Trump’s gains, along with increased 3rd party support, could lock Biden out of typical Democratic numbers with Black voters. 

  • Since the fall of Afghanistan in August 2021, Biden has faced a negative job approval rating. This week, it dropped below 40% again, with only 39.7% approving and 55.8% disapproving—one of the lowest of his presidency.

The Expanding Map–Both Geographically & Demographically:

Polling is generally stable post-Manhattan Trump Verdict, but there are signs of some geographic and demographic solidifying and expansion for Trump, with one notable silver lining for Biden.

Swing State Polling: Trump leads all 7 Swing States. Biden may be in Whack-a-mole situation if more states like Virginia & Minnesota keep popping up as “in play.”

  • Trump leads in all seven swing states in the RCP Average, with a notable +3.3% average overall.

  • While the races are tight in Wisconsin and Michigan, Trump may be solidifying marginally significant leads in Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, and Arizona.

  • And if states like VA and MN continue to pop up as “in play,” that’ll become a whack-a-mole situation for Biden's campaign

  • RCP Swing State Average: Trump +3.3%

  • Fox News Virginia Poll: 2-Way Tie, 5-Way Biden+1

  • McLaughlin & Assoc. (Trump’s pollster) Minnesota Poll: 2-Way Trump+2, Multi-Candidate Trump+4 or +5 depending on who makes ballot.

Black Voter Support: Is the Trump bump real? And what about other demographics?

  • Biden’s support among Black voters has plummeted compared to 2020, down 20% points in Pennsylvania and 22% in Michigan according to the recent USA Today/Suffolk Poll.
  • Despite the positive headlines for Biden from this poll, when you dig into the numbers, he’s only hitting 54% in MI and 56% in PA with Black voters. And Donald Trump has increased his numbers in both states, especially in a head-to-head match up.
  • If this trend continues, it will be “lights out” for Biden's re-election campaign.
  • Further trouble for Biden with this demographic, is that if Black voters dislike Donald Trump, they are interested in skipping Biden and voting 3rd Party.
  • Trump Picking Up Non-Traditional Support is Real: I didn’t believe it at first, but I’ve seen too many polls now from different firms with high enough samples…
    • Biden is losing and Trump is gaining support among African Americans–specifically Black men.
    • This is also true among Hispanics, though the gender disparity is less
    • But it appears we may be seeing a pronounced movement of men away from Biden, while he is also slipping somewhat with women
    • Biden is losing and Trump/Kennedy are gaining support among Younger Voters

Biden’s Silverhaired Silver Lining: So what’s keeping the bottom from falling out for Biden?

  • There’s a Silver Haired Silver Lining for Biden.
  • As of last month, Biden had slightly improved his numbers with older voters from four years ago.
  • I first noticed this looking at the past couple Wall Street Journal polls.

Factors Driving the Numbers:

What are the factors at play impacting the numbers overall nationally and in the geographic/demographic numbers above?

National Polling: Polling remains stable post-verdict, and may be solidifying for Trump.

  • Despite initial headline-grabbing online polls, national polling remains stable post-verdict and appears to even be growing in some areas for Trump, though Biden has a couple of silver linings.

  • Trump holds a narrow lead in the RCP National Average, with a two-way race showing Trump at 45.4% to Biden's 44.6%, and a five-way race increasing Trump's lead to 42.6%, Biden at 39.7%, Kennedy at 7.4%, and others at 2.9%.

  • Trump’s stability–and possibly strengthening position–signals: a resilient base of support, favorable issue environment, the perceived weakness of Biden, and increased intensity of support by those outraged by their perception of lawfare injustice.

  • RCP National Average: Two-Way: Trump +0.8% | Five-Way: Trump +2.9%

      • Two-Way: Trump 45.4% | Biden 44.6%

      • Five-Way: Trump 42.6% | Biden 39.7% | Kennedy 7.4% | Other 2.9%

  • Generic Ballot: On the generic ballot, Republicans hold a slight edge over Democrats, 45.9% to 44.6%. This reflects a +1.3% lead for the GOP, in the past this would indicate a potential landslide for Republicans, but my gut is that it is actually an extremely competitive landscape for House Races as we move towards the general election.

Presidential Approval & Key Issues: Overall & Handling of Specific Issues

  • Biden’s overall approval has again dipped below 40%, with only 39.7% approving and 55.8% disapproving–one of the lowest of his presidency. 

  • Since August 2021, Biden has faced a negative job approval rating. The collapse in Afghanistan seems to have been the turning point when Biden lost substantial credibility.

  • Biden’s handling of key issues isn't faring any better—40% approve of his economic policies, 32% on immigration, 32.5% on Israel/Hamas, and 40.7% on Ukraine.

  • Biden Job Approval RCP Avg: 39.7% Approve | 55.8% Disapprove

  • Biden Handling of Economy RCP Avg: 40% Approve | 57.6% Disapprove

  • Biden Handling of Immigration RCP Avg: 32% Approve | 60% Disapprove

  • Biden Handling of Israel/Hamas RCP Avg: 32.5% Approve | 62.9% Disapprove

  • Biden Handling of Ukraine RCP Avg: 40.7% Approve | 54% Disapprove

Surprising Favorability Ratings: Looking at the 3 People who most realistically could be president in the next year, Trump surprisingly earns the best Net Favorability Rating, a predictor for future horse race numbers.

  • Trump currently has a better image compared to Biden and Harris, with a net favorability of -11.3% compared to Biden’s -14.6% and Harris’s -14.7%.

  • Despite constant negative press, Trump is emerging as the slightly more likable candidate among the individuals voters assume could be president in the next year.

  • No national leader from either party, including top House and Senate leaders, has a Net Positive Favorability Rating. Speaker Johnson and Leader Jeffries hold the highest ratings.

  • Net Favorability Comparison: Net Favorability cab be a predictor of future ballot position and is calculated by subtracting the Unfavorable number from the Favorable number. 

    • Trump -11.3%

    • Biden -14.6%

    • Harris -14.7%

Betting Markets & Models: Projections for Power?

  • Betting markets have Trump at a 51.7% chance of winning compared to Biden's 34%.

  • According to a model created by Decision Desk HQ and The Hill, the GOP is favored to win the presidency, Senate, and House.

  • They predict a 57% chance for Trump, a 77% chance for the GOP to flip the Senate with 51 seats, and a slim margin to retain the House. I’m skeptical on the House.

  • This was an interesting and well-thought-out model, and yet models are NOT reality.

  • Betting Markets: Trump 51.7%, Biden 34.0%


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