Joe Biden Ally Confronted With ‘Pretty Dire’ Election Polling

Joe Biden Ally Confronted With ‘Pretty Dire’ Election Polling

Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, said on ABC News’ This Week on Sunday that “polls go up and down” after host Martha Raddatz called President Joe Biden’s polling in five important swing states “pretty dire.”

Raddatz presented the senator with recent polling from New York Times/Siena College, including one poll with The Philadelphia Inquirer, that surveyed 4,097 registered voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin from April 28 to May 9. The polls in six battleground states show former president and presumptive 2024 Republican nominee Donald Trump leading in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. Biden, whose polling in the other five battleground states is within the margin of error, edges ahead of Trump by 2 points in Wisconsin. In the 2020 presidential election, Biden won all six of these states against Trump.

“He’s down by 12 in Nevada, 7 in Michigan, 7 in Arizona, 3 in Pennsylvania,” Raddatz said. “How do you turn that around? That is pretty dire polling.” Although not mentioned by Raddatz, Biden is down by 10 in Georgia.

Van Hollen, a Biden ally, replied: “Polls go up and down. You and I have been following politics for a long time. But the short answer is to begin to frame the choice for the American people, which is why it’s very good news that the first debate is in June.”

Most famously, polls in the 2016 presidential election predicted then-candidate Hillary Clinton to win the presidency, when in fact, Trump won.

Newsweek reached out to Van Hollen’s press team via email on Sunday and left a voice message for his campaign team. Newsweek reached out to both the Biden and Trump campaigns via email on Sunday.

On Wednesday, Biden posted a video to X, formerly Twitter, challenging Trump to the first debate of the 2024 presidential election cycle. The former president accepted shortly after.

Historically early in the cycle, the first debate is slated for June 27 at CNN’s studio in Atlanta. This will be the third time Biden and Trump have faced off, having debated twice during the 2020 presidential campaign. A second debate hosted by ABC News is scheduled for September 10, but no location has been announced yet.

“I’m glad now we have debates that work better for the American people,” Van Hollen said on Sunday about the earlier timing and new debate rules. He added that the new rules, which include no live audience and microphone cut offs, are “designed to focus on serious rather than create a circus atmosphere.”

Over the past seven months, Biden has received criticism over his handling of Israel’s offensive in Gaza, after Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, attacked Israel on October 7, 2023. According to the polls, around 13 percent of the voters who said they previously voted for Biden in 2020, but do not plan to in 2024, cited his foreign policy or the war in Gaza as the most important issue impacting their vote.

Other polls, such as by FiveThirtyEight, show an extremely tight race between the current and former president. As of Sunday, FiveThirtyEight’s latest national poll aggregation shows Trump leading Biden by 1.2 percentage points.

Biden in Vegas
President Joe Biden speaks at the Stupak Community Center on March 19 in Las Vegas. Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, said on ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday that “polls go up and…

Ian Maule/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Americans generally trust Trump more than Biden on the economy and immigration, according to an ABC News/IPSOS poll that was published earlier this month. Forty-six percent of respondents preferred Trump on the economy, while 32 percent preferred Biden. Forty-seven percent favored Trump on immigration, while 30 percent favored Biden.

However, Biden has earned voters’ support on other issues. On health care, 39 percent of respondents said they favor Biden, while only 34 percent favor Trump. Forty-one percent of respondents trust Biden more on the abortion issue, while only 28 percent trust Trump.

This poll was conducted from April 25 to 30 among a sample of 2,260 adults and had a sampling error of 2 percentage points.