U.S. President Joe Biden’s chances of re-election are being jeopardized by voters’ concerns over his age, the economy and crime, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, creating an opportunity for Republican challenger Donald Trump to return to the White House.
The opinion poll found Democrat Biden, 80, tied in a hypothetical November 2024 election against Trump, 77, the former president who is the front-runner for the Republican nomination, with both receiving 39% of the vote and one in five voters undecided.
Democrats held a strong advantage among voters most concerned about protecting abortion rights, while Republicans had an edge among those worried about crime, the poll found.
Trump remains politically viable despite a battery of federal and state criminal charges revolving around his attempts to overturn Biden’s 2020 election win and his mishandling of classified documents since leaving office. He is expected to spend much of next year in courtrooms standing trial while also campaigning.
But in a worrisome result for Biden, Trump held a small advantage in the seven states where the 2020 presidential election was closest: Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Nevada and Michigan. In those states, Trump led with 41% to Biden’s 35%, and 24% undecided.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online nationwide from Sept. 8 through Sept. 14, gathering responses from 4,413 U.S. adults. It had a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 2 percentage points.
More than a year remains before voters will start to cast ballots, plenty of time to change their minds.
Large numbers of voters appear to be up for grabs, the poll found.
Biden faces the risk of losing independent voters, whom he won decisively in 2020. If the election were held now, Trump had 32% support among independents to Biden’s 30%, effectively a tie with the a 38% plurality still undecided, the poll found.
Biden held an early advantage among voters who said they were completely certain they would vote next year – they favored the Democrat 49%-38% with just 13% undecided. Since his 2020 loss, Trump has continued to falsely claim that his defeat was the result of fraud, which could serve to undercut some of his supporters’ faith in the electoral process.