President Biden Makes Gains in an Election He Can Win

A Report on a post-State of the Union Battleground Poll

Joe Biden can win re-election.

In November, Democracy Corps showed the same difficult race as the public polls. I expected and wrote that the race would get more difficult because of continued inflation, the growing border crisis and a campaign strategy that sought to educate its diverse base how much they had benefited from Biden’s policies. I think that misread those voters. I thought the elites underestimated how much people feared a continuation of Biden. And with his age, I wasn’t sure key voting groups were just tuning him out.

The president’s State of the Union, which emphasized a sharp contrast with Trump and description of the Biden team’s work reversed the momentum, raised his approval rating and moved the race from a 5-point to a 3-point deficit in the battleground states. But the gains were greater in the places you would expect from the strategy. That meant voters were listening. The campaign got higher interest and increased their vote share with Black and Hispanic voters, white Gen Z and millennial voters, and white unmarried women, as well as moderate Republicans.

Compared to Trump, Biden has a touch more loyalists, less vulnerable voters and more winnable voters. The Democrats are running well in the House and Senate battlegrounds, creating a more favorable ticket. In fact, both double haters and Robert F. Kennedy voters lean Democratic. While Biden has a lot of work to do on the border and other issues, he has made gains and achieved majority support on key voting issues: who is for the rich, climate change, women’s rights, health care, protecting from an autocrat and securing democracy.

But the Biden train does not make further gains with this strategy. We tested the best possible campaign as you will see below. It raised Biden’s approval, but only reduced the margin a point to -2. Biden’s robust soul of America message scored a -2 in vote reactions — almost 10 points short of Trump’s Save America message.

Access the full key findings and report below:

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