For An Incumbent, Biden Is Far Behind In His Reelection Campaign By Historical Standards

Former President Donald Trump holds a slight but meaningful edge over Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential race, which makes Biden only the second incumbent president in history to be behind in his reelection campaign at this stage, according to scientific polling data.

According to various recent national surveys, Trump enjoys a lead of 2 to 4 points over Biden among registered or likely voters.

Although individually these data points may not hold much weight as Trump’s lead falls within the margin of error in all of them, when combined, they indicate a significant challenge for the incumbent president.

In the last 80 years, incumbents have typically held a lead of around 10 points over their future challengers about a year before the election. This trend is observed in the polling data of almost every incumbent since Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency in 1943.


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For instance, it can be seen in the poll results of Barack Obama versus Mitt Romney in November 2011. Some Democrats have attempted to downplay the current data showing difficulties for Biden by claiming that Obama was also trailing at this stage.

The only incumbent who was also behind in the polls at this stage is Trump, whom Biden is expected to compete against again in the upcoming election.

In November 2019, Trump was behind Biden by approximately 10 points. Trump’s slight lead in the polls at present is quite remarkable since he never had such an advantage during the 2020 campaign.

Maria Fox

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