President Biden's disapproval rating has hit a new high in polling by NBC News, and disenchantment with his handling of the Israel-Gaza war appears to be the driving force. Biden's support among young voters dropped like a rock, and Trump came on top in 2024 support for the first time, though his edge was inside the poll's margin of error.
“Joe Biden is at a uniquely low point in his presidency, and a significant part of this, especially within the Biden coalition, is due to how Americans are viewing his foreign policy actions,” Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt told NBC.
BREAKING - NBC POLL: Biden's approval rating is just 40% — the lowest Biden "has ever measured in our poll." Poll also finds that nearly two-thirds of independents say they disapprove of Biden. WATCH pic.twitter.com/jMg6Sbj8gE— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) November 19, 2023
According to the poll, a term-high 57% of registered voters disapprove of the job Biden is doing as president. That's up 1% in two months and 7% since January. A striking 21% of Democrats disapprove and, in the poll's most jarring finding, support for Biden among 18- to 34-year-old voters cratered by 15% since September, with only 31% now satisfied with his administration.
Biden is being dragged down by his handling of foreign policy. Only 33% approve, a major, 8-point drop from September. A similar percent approve of his specific handling of the Israel-Gaza war. 70% of voters age 18 to 34 disapprove of his approach to the conflict. Of course, those people aren't likely to vote for Trump, but Biden appears to be disgusting them to the extent that many will choose not to vote at all. Then again, the election is almost a year away.
As we wrote last month, the war is also a major liability for Biden among Arabs and Muslims. While they're not a huge group nationally, their concentration in swing states like Michigan and Wisconsin makes the dynamic very worrisome for Democrats.
“What I’m hearing now is people feeling completely betrayed by Joe Biden,” said Amer Zahr, president of Dearborn-based New Generation for Palestine.
“People are feeling that the Democratic Party is unequivocally, with a few exceptions, supporting Israel and not humanizing Palestinians."
War-driven outrage against the Democratic establishment was on display last week when protesters -- mostly younger people -- surrounded Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington as a campaign reception was going on inside, prompting a muscular police response.
NEW: Among voters 18-34, 70% disapprove of Pres. Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war in the @NBCNews national poll. @SteveKornacki: “He is 50 points underwater with the youngest group of voters.” @kwelkernbc: “It’s a critical group he needs in order to win re-election.” pic.twitter.com/iWjtVcDPNA— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) November 19, 2023
For the first time in its polling, NBC News also found Donald Trump leading Biden among all Americans in 2024 polling. It's not so much that support for Trump has risen, as much as Biden's backing has dipped. In July, Biden led 49 to 45, by now trails 44 to 46. In a sign of the increasingly frail Biden's unique weakness as a candidate, the poll found that a generic, unnamed Democrat would beat Trump by 6 points.
The poll gave new confirmation that a reliable Democratic cornerstone is crumbling: 20% percent of blacks now support Trump, compared to 69% for Biden. Contrast that to their last contest: A Pew Research survey found that Biden won the 2020 black vote by an overwhelming 92-to-8 margin.
Finally, turning to House and Senate races, NBC found that voters prefer Republican control of Congress by 47% to 45%. In September, the GOP trailed 46 to 45. That particular result had neocon warmonger Bill Kristol dropping the last pretense that he's any kind of conservative or Republican:
By the way, Republicans in Congress appear to be paying no political price for all their problems over the last couple of months. They’re ahead by two points in the generic ballot (as Trump is ahead by two points of Biden).— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) November 19, 2023
I am alarmed. https://t.co/oF1cHCo07X