‘What the Heck Happened?’ Biden and Trump Experience Big Polling Drops in Iowa

The two 2024 frontrunners, President Biden and former President Trump, each experienced a polling dip in the ever-important state of Iowa.

“An Emerson College poll of Iowa Republican caucus voters showed support for Trump currently sits at 49 percent, a drop from 62 percent in May,” The Hill reported. “Meanwhile, a poll of Iowa Democratic caucus voters showed that Biden’s support now sits at 50 percent, a drop from 69 percent in May.”

The dips are sizeable – but do they mean anything in the big picture?

The Democrats have changed their primary rules to undercut their primary process and protect their incumbent (as challenger Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will remind you). So Biden’s drop from 69 percent to 50 percent doesn’t mean a whole lot. Biden has the nomination if he wants the nomination – which he does as far as we know. For what it’s worth, RFK Jr. dipped from 11 percent to 9 percent; Williamson dipped from 10 percent to 7 percent. So Biden’s lead is still entirely secure.

The GOP primary is crowded, and Trump’s victory is less assured than Biden’s. But Trump enjoys an absolutely massive lead over the rest of the field. So even though Trump has dipped to 49 percent in Iowa, he still enjoys plurality support without a close competitor.

Here’s what the rest of the GOP field looked like in the same poll: Runner-up Florida Governor DeSantis dipped from 20 percent to 14 percent; Mike Pence went from 5 percent to 3 percent; Vivek Ramaswamy increased from 2 percent to 7 percent; Tim Scott rose from 3 percent to 8 percent; Nikki Haley rose from 5 percent to 7 percent; and Doug Burgum rose from 1 percent to 3 percent. So Trump is still in good shape, miles ahead of a fractured field.

Biden and Trump still poised to win Iowa

“While both Biden and Trump have lost some support in Iowa, it does not appear that any other candidate has been able to emerge as a clear alternative,” said Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling. ‘Republicans saw DeSantis fall back into the pack, as the vote splintered amongst a crowded field, and Kennedy and Williamson have failed to gain traction in Iowa.”

The Iowa primary polls were not all that enlightening. Trump and Biden are ahead. But what was enlightening was a poll gauging the general election.

“In a hypothetical match-up between Trump, Biden and Green Party candidate Cornel West, Trump came out as the front-runner with 48 percent support, while Biden pulled 35 percent and West just 5 percent,” The Hill reported.

The poll found that West’s voters were much more likely to change their minds than Trump or Biden votes. 72 percent of West voters indicated they could vote for another candidate (either Trump or Biden), whereas only about 33 percent of Trump and Biden voters said they would vote for someone else.

Of course, things can change. But the poll should serve as a warning to the Democrats. Biden is vulnerable. Voters are concerned that Biden, the oldest president ever, is too old for a second term that would bring him past his 86th birthday. Compounding concerns about Biden’s age is his redundancy plan: Vice President Kamala Harris, who remains deeply unpopular with an approval rating in the 30s.

Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.

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