- Sixty-two percent now disapprove of Biden’s handling of foreign policy
- Democrats are divided on the war between Israel and Hamas
- NBC News Poll: Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is leading the NBC News poll?
- How is the survey conducted?
- How does interviewing 1,000 respondents produce a representative sample?
- Who asks the questions?
- Trump narrowly leads Biden for the first time
- Trump leads GOP presidential race by 40 points
- Biden holds a considerable lead in the Democratic field
- Other survey results
President Joe Biden’s approval rating has fallen to the lowest level of his presidency – 40% – as strong majorities of all voters disapprove of his handling of foreign policy and the war between Israel and Hamas, according to the latest NBC News national poll.
Additionally, the poll finds Biden trailing former President Donald Trump for the first time in a hypothetical general election matchup, although the deficit is well within the poll’s margin of error for an election that is still more of 11 months.
The erosion for Biden is more pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom think Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza, and among voters aged 18 to 34, with 70% of them disapproving of the Biden’s handling of the war.
“I don’t support his support for Israel,” said Meg Furey, 40, a Democrat from Austin, Texas.
“Broken promises, student loans, foreign policy in general,” said Democrat Zico Schell, 23, of San Diego, when asked why he disapproves of Biden’s job performance.
“Joe Biden is at a particularly low point in his presidency, and a significant part of that, especially within the Biden coalition, is due to how Americans perceive his foreign policy actions,” said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies.
McInturff said he can’t remember another time when foreign affairs not involving U.S. troops transformed the American political landscape.
“This poll is stunning, and it’s stunning because of the impact of the war between Israel and Hamas on Biden,” he said.
But Horwitt warned that Biden can bring these disaffected Democrats and young voters back into the fold. “These are people who have proven themselves by voting for Biden and the Democrats,” he said.
And, he added, there is still plenty of time – and more potential political surprises to come – between now and Election Day 2024, which could see the political landscape transformed once again.
“Jury verdicts in the Trump trials, unforeseen events both abroad and at home, and the rigors of campaigning all have a funny way of upending what may be true today,” he said. Horwitt said.
According to the poll, 40% of registered voters approve of Biden’s job performance, while 57% disapprove, representing the all-time low in approval (and all-time high in disapproval) in the poll since he became president.
This is only a slight change overall from September, when Biden’s approval rating was 41%, which was then tied with his previous low in the poll.
Yet what stands out in the new survey is the shift among voters aged 18 to 34. In September, 46% of those voters said they approved of Biden’s job performance.
NOW? Biden’s approval rating fell to 31% among these voters.
Sixty-two percent now disapprove of Biden’s handling of foreign policy
Another low point for the president, just 33% of all voters approve of Biden’s handling of foreign policy, down 8 points from September.
That compares to 62% of voters, including 30% of Democrats, who say they disapprove of the president’s handling of foreign policy.
And just 34% of all voters approve of Biden’s handling of the war between Israel and Hamas, compared to 56% who say they disapprove.
By party, only half of Democratic voters (51%) say they approve of Biden’s handling of the war, compared to a majority of independents (59%) and Republicans (69%) who say they disapprove.
Regarding the economy, fewer than 4 in 10 voters — 38% — say they approve of the way the president has handled the issue, an increase of one point compared to September.
Democrats are divided on the war between Israel and Hamas
The NBC News poll – conducted November 10-14 – comes more than a month after Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, which killed more than 1,000 Israelis, and the subsequent war in Gaza, which has killed thousands more Palestinians, according to Gaza health officials.
The poll found that a majority of American voters, 47 percent, believe that Israel is defending its interests in the war and that its military actions in Gaza are justified.
In comparison, 30% think Israel’s military actions have gone too far and are not justified. 21% say they don’t know enough to have an opinion.
Yet among Democratic voters, 51% think Israel has gone too far, compared to 27% who say Israeli military actions are justified.
And while a majority of voters overall (55%) support the United States providing military aid to Israel, nearly half of Democrats (49%) say they are opposed to such aid.
NBC News Poll: Frequently Asked Questions
Who is leading the NBC News poll?
Professional pollsters from a Democratic polling company (Hart Research Associates) and a Republican polling company (Public Opinion Strategies) have worked together to conduct and manage this poll since 1989. (Coldwater Corporation was the Republican company from 1989 to 2004 .)
How is the survey conducted?
Survey companies employ a call center, where live interviewers speak via cell phone and telephone with a representative sample of (usually) 1,000 respondents. Respondents are randomly selected from national household lists and cell phone numbers. Respondents are asked by name, starting with the youngest adult male or female in the household.
How does interviewing 1,000 respondents produce a representative sample?
One of the questions critics frequently ask about polls is: “I wasn’t interviewed, so why should this poll matter?” » By surveying 1,000 respondents and applying minimum weights based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, education and 2020 presidential vote, the poll provides a representative sample of the nation as a whole – with a margin of error at a 95% confidence level.
Who asks the questions?
NBC News editors and reporters – as well as pollsters from Hart Research and Public Opinion Strategies – all work to craft the questions to try to capture the news and current affairs that NBC is trying to assess. Hart Research and Public Opinion Strategies ensure that the language and placement of questions is as neutral as possible.
Trump narrowly leads Biden for the first time
All of this shapes the general election that will take place in about 350 days. Biden trails Donald Trump for the first time in a hypothetical matchup in the NBC News poll, although the deficit is well within the survey’s margin of error.
Trump gets the support of 46% of registered voters, while Biden gets 44%.
In September, the two men were tied (at 46% each). And in June, Biden was narrowly ahead of Trump by 4 points (49% against 45%). While Biden’s support has changed throughout the year, although within the poll’s margin of error, Trump’s has barely budged.
In the current poll, Biden holds advantages over Trump among black voters (69% to 20%), women (52% to 39%), and white voters with college degrees (51% to 40%).
Trump, meanwhile, holds the advantage among white voters (53% to 39%), men (55% to 35%) and rural voters (58% to 35%).
And notably, Trump holds a slight advantage in the margin of error in the survey of voters aged 18 to 34 (46% to 42%) – a reversal from previous election results and past polls from NBCNews. But that finding is consistent with other recent national surveys showing Trump is more competitive among younger voters than he was before, and it’s consistent with Biden’s overall struggles with that age group.
READ MORE: A Number of Public Polls Show Young Voters Shifting to Biden
Trump leads GOP presidential race by 40 points
Additionally, the NBC News poll shows Trump maintaining a significant national lead over his rivals in the Republican presidential race.
Trump is the top choice of 58% of Republican primary voters, followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 18% and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley at 13%, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and with entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy tied at 3%. behind them.
Trump’s lead is essentially unchanged from September, when he led DeSantis by 43 points, despite other Republican candidates ending their campaigns.
Haley’s support, however, has almost doubled between September (7%) and today (13%).
In a separate question, 50% of Republican primary voters say Trump should continue to lead the Republican Party, up from 58% in September.
On the other hand, 23% believe that Trump was a good president, but that it is time to think about other leaders (compared to 19% two months ago). And 23% believe that the Republican Party needs a new leader with better behavior and a different approach (compared to 22% in September).
Biden holds a considerable lead in the Democratic field
Meanwhile, despite lower approval ratings from members of his own party, Biden earns the support of 77% of national Democratic primary voters in the first NBC News poll to test the 2024 presidential primary of left.
He’s followed by Marianne Williamson, who gets 12 percent support, and Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., who gets 4 percent.
Other survey results
Looking ahead to the 2024 legislative elections, 47% of registered voters say they prefer a Congress controlled by Republicans, compared to 45% who want Democrats to be in charge. In the September poll, voters were split 46% for Democrats and 45% for Republicans on this issue.
Above all the results of the vote: a feeling of pessimism about the direction of the nation. Only 19% of respondents say they are confident that life for their children’s generation will be better than it was for them – an unprecedented result from this poll question dating back to 1990.
The NBC News poll was conducted Nov. 10-14 among 1,000 registered voters — 833 by cellphone — and has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
The margin of error for the 317 Republican primary voters is plus or minus 5.5 percentage points, and the margin of error for the 311 Democratic primary voters is plus or minus 5.6 percentage points .
Mark Murray is a senior political editor at NBC News.
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