Biden shrinks Trump’s edge in latest Times/Siena poll


President Joe Biden has nearly erased Donald Trump’s early polling advantage, amid signs that the Democratic base has begun to coalesce behind the president despite lingering doubts about the direction of the country, the economy and his age, according to a new survey by The New York Times and Siena College.

Biden and Trump are now virtually tied, with Trump holding a 46% to 45% edge. That is an improvement for Biden from late February, when Trump had a sturdier 48% to 43% lead just before he became the presumptive Republican nominee.

Biden’s tick upward appears to stem largely from his improved standing among traditional Democratic voters — he is winning a greater share of voters who supported him in 2020 than he did a month ago. Then, Trump had secured the support of far more of his past voters compared with Biden — 97% to 83% — but that margin has narrowed. Biden is now winning 89% of his 2020 supporters compared with 94% for Trump.

The tightening poll results are the latest evidence of a 2024 contest that both campaigns are preparing to be excruciatingly close. The past two presidential elections were decided by tens of thousands of votes in a handful of battleground states, and this one could be just as tight. In a nation so evenly divided, even the tiniest of shifts in support could prove decisive.

Beneath the narrowing contest, many of the fundamentals of the race appear largely unchanged.

The share of voters who view the nation as headed in the wrong direction remains a high 64%. Almost 80% of voters still rate the nation’s economic conditions as fair or poor, including a majority of Democrats. And both Biden and Trump remain unpopular, for familiar reasons. Most voters think Biden is too old. A majority believe Trump has committed serious federal crimes.

“Just blah,” said Beth Prevost, a 59-year-old hairdresser and independent voter in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, summing up the feelings of so many about the rematch. She said she was leaning toward Biden as “the lesser of the two evils.”