Trump gets big post-debate boost in new polls after Biden's botched performance

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A new national poll indicates that former President Trump’s lead over President Biden in their 2024 election rematch is widening in the wake of last week’s heavily criticized debate performance by Biden.

And the survey, released Wednesday by The New York Times and Siena College, spotlights a surge in concerns that the 81-year-old Biden, the oldest president in the nation’s history, is unable to govern the nation effectively.

Biden is facing the roughest stretch of his more than yearlong campaign for a second term in the White House. This, after his halting delivery and stumbling answers at the debate with Trump in Atlanta on Thursday, sparked widespread panic in the Democratic Party and spurred calls from political pundits, editorial writers and some party donors for Biden to step aside as the party’s 2024 standard-bearer.

Additionally, in the past 24 hours, a small but increasing number of House Democrats have also urged the president to end his re-election bid.


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Former President Trump and President Biden debate in Atlanta on Thursday. (Getty Images)

The president is scheduled to huddle Wednesday evening with Democratic governors and congressional leaders in the wake of the debate debacle.

However, Biden’s campaign has repeatedly insisted that the president has no intention of dropping out of the race.

According to the poll, Trump now tops Biden 49%-43% among likely voters nationwide, which is a three-point swing toward the presumptive GOP presidential nominee from the previous New York Times/Siena College poll from just a week ago.

And Trump’s lead over Biden edges up to 49%-41% among the larger pool of registered voters.

A couple of hours after the New York Times/Siena College poll release, another well-known national survey made similar headlines.

Trump topped Biden 48%-42% among registered voters in a Wall Street Journal poll. The former president’s lead over the Democratic incumbent in the White House was up from a two-point edge in February.


But there were more red flags for Biden in the polls besides troubling top line numbers.

Eighty percent of people surveyed in the Wall Street Journal poll, which was also conducted entirely after the debate, said that the president is too old to run for a second term.  

Meanwhile, nearly three-quarters of those surveyed in the New York Times/Siena College poll viewed Biden as too old for the job, up five points since the debate. 

Concerns about the president’s age among Democrats spiked eight points, to 59%. And nearly eight in 10 independents questioned also said they viewed Biden as too old to serve in the White House.

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President Biden reacts after speaking at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, on June 28. (AP Photo/Matt Kelley)

There was a little good news in the poll for Biden. He narrowed his deficit with Trump among independent voters, but that came at the expense of his erosion among Democrats and Trump’s improvement with Republicans.

Also, the percentage of Democrats who said Biden should no longer be the party’s presidential nominee edged up, rather than surging to new heights.


In a statement to Fox News after the release of the New York Times/Siena College survey, Biden campaign pollster Molly Murphy argued that the presidential race remains close.

“Both internal and outside polling confirm that the race remains incredibly tight and I agree with the Times that today’s polling doesn’t fundamentally change the course of the race. President Biden continues to narrow Trump’s support among independents, and we have work to do to bring home our coalition — all the while Trump appears unable to expand his coalition,” Murphy wrote.

And pointing to the Biden campaign’s advantage in ground-game efforts, Murphy argued that “the work our campaign is doing on the ground will be critical to win over voters in a low trust and divided political environment. Trump’s team is doing virtually none of that work, while also being saddled with the baggage of a toxic agenda to undecided voters. President Biden has work to do, but will be running on mobilizing issues that we are confident will bring him to victory this November.”

Ahead of the poll’s release on Wednesday afternoon, the Biden campaign sent out a fresh all-staff memo in an attempt to calm concerns about his chances of being re-elected.

The memo, obtained by Fox News, highlights internal campaign polling that shows a still-close race with Trump.

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Former President Trump speaks during a campaign event at Historic Greenbrier Farms in Chesapeake, Virginia, on June 28. (Parker Michels-Boyce/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“We are going to see a few polls come out today and we want you all to hear from us on what we know internally and what we expect to come externally,” the memo reads. “Polls are a snapshot in time and we should all expect them to continue to fluctuate — it will take a few weeks, not a few days, to get a full picture of the race.” 


The memo, which was signed by campaign Chair Jen O’Malley Dillon and campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez, showcases internal battleground state polling before and after the debate, revealing that Biden dropped by half a percentage point over that period. 

And pointing to the New York Times poll, which had yet to be released when the memo was issued, the Biden campaign emphasized that “we should all keep in mind that, just last week, the NYT themselves acknowledged that they are often a polling outlier.”

The poll was conducted entirely after the debate from June 28-July 2, with 1,532 registered voters nationwide questioned.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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