Biden leads Trump in 2024 poll despite flagging approval rating

Former President Donald Trump may lead just about every survey of the potential 2024 Republican primary field, but there's one key rival he continues to trail: Joe Biden.

The current president would win 42 per cent of the vote, according to a poll conducted by YouGov and Yahoo! News. Mr Trump followed close behind with the support of 39 per cent of respondents.

The results come despite Mr Biden's underwater approval rating, which was at 42 per cent (with 53 per cent disapproval) in the same survey. That result suggests that enough Americans still dislike the idea of Donald Trump taking the White House again to overlook Mr Biden's perceived flaws.

In fact, more than half of respondents do not want either Mr Trump or Mr Biden to run in 2024 at all. Fifty-two per cent opposed a third Trump bid for the presidency, and 57 per cent were against Mr Biden seeking reelection.

The poll results are also a reminder that the former president's power remains strongest with his hard-right base, and no longer enjoys the support of many independents. He now leads Mr Biden by just 4 per cent among voters not registered to a particular political party.

Mr Biden’s party is preparing for a potentially bruising midterm season, where an unfavourable map for Republicans will make it a challenge (though far from an insurmountable one) for the GOP to take a majority in the Senate while the GOP retains, according to polling, an advantage in the House.

The dynamic of the midterm cycle does have the potential to be upended by a possibly imminent overturning of Roe v Wade, the landmark abortion rights case, but persistent issues like inflation continue to dog the president and his party.

Mr Biden previously won the 2020 election with 51.3 per cent of the popular vote and 306 Electoral College votes. But speculation has swirled since nearly the day he stepped into office at 78 regarding whether he would seek reelection himself or pass the baton to another Democrat like Kamala Harris, his vice president.

Mr Trump continues to dominate most polls of the 2024 GOP primary field, including against members of his own administration like Mike Pompeo and his estranged VP, Mike Pence. But the president no longer has an iron grip on the party, as evidenced by the defeat of his chosen candidate in Georgia’s gubernatorial primary last week.

The YouGov survey collected results from 1,369 registered voters between 19 to 22 May, and has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.