Biden sees big drop in approval among black, Hispanic voters

President Joe Biden walks to board Air Force One after delivering remarks on the 22nd anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, on September 11, 2023. | SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden is facing a significant drop in approval among both African American and Latino voters as the 2024 presidential primary season is beginning to take shape.

According to a recently released poll from NBC News, 56% of respondents disapprove of the job Biden is doing as president, while 41% of respondents approve and 3% are not sure how they would rate Biden.

Additionally, 59% of respondents disapprove of Biden's handling of the economy versus 37% who approve, while 53% disapprove of his handling of foreign policy versus 41% who approve.

Biden has seen his support among minority voters decline over the first two years of his presidency. His job approval rating among African American voters dropped from 80% in 2021 to 63% this year, while approval among Latino voters declined from 61% in 2021 to 43% this year.

The NBC News survey was conducted by Hart Research Associates/Public Opinion Strategies from Sept. 15-1. It included 1,000 registered voters, including 848 people interviewed via cellphone, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%.

The survey also found that 74% of respondents considered the age of 80-year-old Biden to be either a "major" concern or a "moderate" concern for them. Meanwhile, 59% of likely Democratic primary voters say they want to see a challenger to Biden. 

The same poll also found trouble for former president and current GOP primary frontrunner Donald Trump, who had 62% of respondents express "major" or "moderate" concern over his civil and criminal charges in four different courts.

Sixty percent of respondents expressed major or moderate concern with "Joe Biden’s possible awareness or involvement in the business dealings of his son, Hunter Biden, including alleged financial wrongdoing and corruption." 

Additionally, the poll saw a hypothetical matchup between Biden and Trump in 2024 being a tie, with each getting 46% support from respondents. By contrast, a hypothetical matchup between Biden and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley had Haley leading, 46% to 41%.

The NBC News poll echos similar findings from New York Times/Siena College national polls over the last year, showing Biden underperforming with nonwhite voters. 

New York Times chief political analyst Nate Cohn wrote in an analysis that, on average, Biden leads Trump 53% to 28% among registered nonwhite voters in a compilation of Times/Siena polls from 2022 and 2023. 

"The results represent a marked deterioration in Mr. Biden's support compared with 2020 when he won more than 70 percent of nonwhite voters," Cohn wrote. "If he's unable to revitalize this support by next November, it will continue a decade-long trend of declining Democratic strength among voters considered to be the foundation of the party."

The tepid support for Biden among nonwhite demographics "appears to be mostly responsible for the close race in early national surveys," Cohn wrote. 

"But the possibility that [Biden's] standing will remain beneath the already depressed levels of the last presidential election should not be discounted," he added.

"Democrats have lost ground among nonwhite voters in almost every election over the last decade, even as racially charged fights over everything from a border wall to kneeling during the national anthem might have been expected to produce the exact opposite result. Weak support for Mr. Biden could easily manifest itself as low turnout — as it did in 2022 — even if many young and less engaged voters ultimately do not vote for Mr. Trump."

On Sunday, The Washington Post and ABC News released a poll indicating that, if the 2024 election were held today, 51% of respondents would vote for Trump while 42% would vote for Biden.

The Post/ABC News poll, conducted by Abt Associates, drew from a telephone survey conducted Sept. 15-20 of 1,006 adults, with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for the full sample.

The Washington Post published an analysis dismissing the findings as "probably an outlier," contending that "Trump's lead in this survey is significantly at odds with other public polls that show the general election contest a virtual dead heat."

"Biden and former president Donald Trump appear headed for a rematch of their 2020 contest, although more than 3 in 5 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say they would prefer a nominee other than the president," the analysis added.

"Biden's advisers have argued that he is the strongest Democrat for 2024 and those who wish for someone else share no consensus on who that should be, with 8 percent naming Vice President Harris, 8 percent naming Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and 20 percent saying they prefer 'just someone else.'"  

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

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