President Joe Biden’s approval rating hit the lowest level of his presidency — 40% — with strong majorities of all voters disapproving of his handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war. According to a recent national NBC News poll.
The poll finds Biden behind former President Donald Trump for the first time in a hypothetical general election race, despite falling within the poll’s margin of error for a contest that’s more than 11 months away.
The itch for Biden is most pronounced among Democrats, most of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza, and among voters aged 18 to 34, 70% of whom disapprove of Biden’s handling of the war.
“I don’t support his support for Israel,” said Meg Furey, 40, a Democrat from Austin, Texas.
“The broken promises, the student loans, foreign policy in general,” said San Diego Democrat Zico Schell, 23, when asked why he disapproved of Biden’s job performance.
“Joe Biden is at a unique low point in his presidency, and a significant part of that is how Americans view his foreign policy actions, particularly within the Biden coalition,” said Jeff Horwitt, a Democratic pollster at Hart Research Associates. He conducted the study with Republican pollster Bill McInturf of Public Opinion Strategies.
McInturff said he couldn’t recall another time when a foreign affair that didn’t involve U.S. troops changed the U.S. political landscape.
“This poll is stunning, and it’s stunning because of the impact the Israel-Hamas war is having on Biden,” he said.
But Horwit warned that Biden could bring these disaffected Democrats and younger voters back into the fold. “These are people with a proven track record of voting for Biden and Democrats,” he said.
And there’s plenty of time between Election Day in 2024 and the political landscape to change again — and political surprises to come.
“The jury verdicts in Trump’s trials, the unexpected events at home and abroad, and the rigors of the campaign all have a funny way of elevating what’s real today,” Harwitt said.
According to the poll, 40% of registered voters approve of Biden’s job performance, while 57% disapprove, representing Biden’s all-time low approval rating (and all-time high disapproval) in the poll since Biden became president.
That’s only a slight change from September, when Biden’s approval rating was 41% — tied for his previous low in the polls.
Still, the new poll shows a significant shift in voters between the ages of 18 and 34. In September, 46% of these voters said they approved of Biden’s job performance.
Now? Among these voters, Biden’s approval rating dropped to 31%.
Sixty-two percent now disapprove of Biden’s handling of foreign policy
In another low for the president, just 33% of all voters approve of Biden’s handling of foreign policy, down 8 points from September.
That compares to 62% of voters, including 30% of Democrats, who say they disapprove of the president’s handling of foreign policy.
Only 34% of all voters approve of Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war, and 56% say they disapprove.
By party, only about half of Democratic voters (51%) say they approve of Biden’s handling of the war, while majorities of independents (59%) and Republicans (69%) say they disapprove.
On the economy, fewer than 4 in 10 voters — 38% — say they approve of the president’s handling of the issue, up 1 point from September.
Democrats are divided over the Israel-Hamas war
The NBC News poll — conducted Nov. 10-14 — comes after an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel that killed more than 1,000 Israelis and a war in Gaza that killed thousands of Palestinians. Gaza health officials.
The poll found that 47% of American voters believe that Israel is defending its interests in the war and that its military actions in Gaza are justified.
By comparison, 30% think Israel’s military actions have gone too far and are not justified. Another 21% say they don’t know enough to comment.
Yet, among Democratic voters, 51% believe Israel has gone too far, and 27% say Israel’s military actions are justified.
While a majority of all voters (55%) support the U.S. providing military aid to Israel, nearly half of Democrats (49%) say they oppose the aid.
Trump is leading Biden for the first time
All this is shaping the general election, which is 350 days away. Biden trails Donald Trump for first time in NBC News poll
Trump has 46% support among registered voters, while Biden has 44%.
In September, the two were tied (46% each). In June, Biden led Trump by 4 points (49% to 45%). While Biden’s support fluctuated throughout the year, within the poll’s margin of error, Trump’s support barely changed.
In the current poll, Biden has advantages over Trump among black voters (69% to 20%), women (52% to 39%) and white voters with college degrees (51% to 40%).
Trump, meanwhile, leads among white voters (53% to 39%), men (55% to 35%) and rural voters (58% to 35%).
And notably, Trump has a slight advantage within the margin of error in the survey among 18- to 34-year-old voters (46% to 42%) — a reversal from past election results and past NBC News polls. But the finding is consistent with other recent national surveys that show Trump is more competitive among younger voters than he has been, and is consistent with Biden’s overall struggles with this age group.
Read more: Multiple public polls show young voters turning on Biden
Trump leads the GOP presidential race by 40 points
Additionally, an NBC News poll shows Trump maintaining a significant national lead over his rivals in the Republican race for president.
Trump is the first choice among 58% of GOP primary voters, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 18% and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley at 13%, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and businessman Vivek Ramasamy at 3%. behind them.
While other GOP candidates are wrapping up their campaigns, Trump’s lead has remained essentially unchanged since September, when he led DeSantis by 43 points.
However, Haley’s support has nearly doubled from September (7%) to now (13%).
In a separate question, 50% of Republican primary voters say Trump should continue to lead the Republican Party — down from 58% who said the same in September.
By contrast, 23% say Trump is a good president, but it’s time to consider other leaders (up from 19% two months ago). And 23% say the Republican Party needs a new leader with better manners and a different attitude (up from 22% who said this in September).
Biden has a huge lead in the Democratic Party
Meanwhile, despite low approval ratings from members of his own party, Biden is receiving support from 77% of national Democratic primary voters in the first NBC News poll to test the party’s 2024 presidential bid.
She is followed by Marianne Williamson at 12% and Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., at 4%.
Other survey results
Looking ahead to the 2024 congressional elections, 47% of registered voters say they want a Republican-controlled Congress, and 45% want a Democrat in charge. In a September poll, voters were split on the question, 46% Democratic and 45% Republican.
Hanging all the results on the polls: a sense of pessimism about the nation’s direction. Just 19% said they believed their children’s generation would have a better life than theirs – the lowest result on this poll question since 1990.
The NBC News poll was conducted Nov. 10-14 and surveyed 1,000 registered voters — 833 by cellphone.
The margin of error for 317 Republican primary voters is plus or minus 5.5 percentage points, and the margin of error for 311 Democratic primary voters is plus or minus 5.6 percentage points.