2024 Election

NBC News Unpacks ‘Erosion Of Public Confidence’ In Biden ‘On A Number Of Critical Fronts’

President Joe Biden is suffering “erosion” on a number of “critical fronts” in polling that pits him against former President Donald Trump, NBC News National Political Correspondent Steve Kornacki said on Sunday.

During an appearance on “Meet The Press,” Kornacki used an interactive screen to discuss with host Kristen Welker NBC’s survey in April, which showed Trump performing better than Biden across several categories with a little more than half a year until the November presidential election.

On “Handling A Crisis,” Trump beat Biden 46%-42%; on “Strong Record As President,” Trump topped Biden 46%-39%; and on “Competent & Effective,” Trump prevailed over Biden 47%-36%. On “Dealing With Inflation & Cost of Living,” Trump led Biden 52%-30%; and on “Necessary Mental/Physical Health,” Trump bested Biden 45%-26%.

Kornacki said these findings are “troubling” for the Biden campaign, as they show “the erosion of public confidence on a number of critical fronts.” He stressed that Biden had the advantage in the competency and crisis management questions in the 2020 election, both of which are now showing more positive numbers for Trump.

“You’ve got to mention this one, too. ‘Necessary mental and physical health.’ We asked this four years ago, it was a wash. It’s now a clear liability for Joe Biden. So these are all troubling numbers for Biden, but it’s not to say there aren’t warning signs for Donald Trump in this poll either,” Kornacki said.

Two areas in which Biden rose above Trump included abortion and the ability to bring the country together, though Kornacki opined that he thought the “headline here is you add those two numbers together, you’re not even close to 100. That means a lot of voters think neither candidate is better on that.”


Kornacki said the poll found Trump with 46%-44% lead over Biden in another head-to-head matchup, though he stressed that the margin between the candidates has gotten smaller over the past few months. This coincided with Biden’s job approval rating having a “slight improvement,” he observed. Still, Kornacki explained, Biden’s job performance numbers lag behind other recent presidents.

Adding a third candidate to the mix, in particular independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr., put Biden ahead of the rest, Kornacki said. “Joe Biden, 39%; Donald Trump, 37%. There’s Kennedy getting 13%. In other words, we’re seeing by a better than 2:1 margin, it’s Trump voters who are flipping over to Kennedy in this scenario, not Biden voters,” he said.

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