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Joe Biden’s woes continue to add up, new polling shows

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day’s most important political stories and why they matter.
Joe Biden
President Joe Biden walks to Marine One from the Oval Office on Friday. Samuel Corum / AFP - Getty Images

WASHINGTON —  If it’s Monday ... President Biden holds event marking passage of the bipartisan gun legislation he signed into law. ... Congress returns after break, bracing for busy month. ... Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has Covid, leaving Senate Democrats shorthanded. ... Jan. 6 committee hosts latest hearing on Tuesday (on the role that groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers played in the attack). ... And Oprah stars in new TV ad for Wes Moore in Maryland governor's race.

But first: A whopping 64% of Democratic primary voters don’t want President Joe Biden as their presidential nominee in 2024, including 94% of those ages 18-29, according to a brand-new New York Times/Siena College poll.

It’s the latest brutal survey for Biden, which also shows just 33% of all voters approving of his job, 58% of voters saying they have an unfavorable view of the president, and 77% believing the country is headed in the wrong direction. 


Part of this is on a Biden White House that’s been too reactive (where events have shaped the administration instead of the other way around), too deliberative (Biden says he’s mulling declaring a public health emergency for abortion — more than two weeks after Roe v. Wade fell) and originally too bullish about what a 50-50 Senate can achieve.

Another part has been outside of Biden’s control. (Roe’s fall, after all, was at least 10 years in the making, and much of the current Democratic anger at Biden is pent-up frustration at that fact.)

And maybe the biggest part of all is Biden’s age, with 33% of Dems in that Times/Siena poll pointing to it as their reason for wanting someone else in 2024, while another 32% citing his actual job performance.  

“Just a year and a half into his first term, Mr. Biden is already more than a year older than Ronald Reagan was at the end of two terms. If he mounts another campaign in 2024, Mr. Biden would be asking the country to elect a leader who would be 86 at the end of his tenure,” the New York Times’ Peter Baker wrote over the weekend

Still, as we’ve said before, it’s possible that Democrats — especially in Senate contests — outperform Biden’s job rating and the overall midterm fundamentals.

And if that happens, it could recalibrate Democrats' perceptions about 2024.  

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The number of the day is … 534 

That’s how many Republican and Democratic candidates have won House nominations so far. 

The list includes 23 military veterans, 235 incumbents,158 non-white candidates, about 100 candidates backed by former President Donald Trump and at least 119 who have questioned the results of the 2020 presidential election. 

Read more about the state of the newly nominated House candidates on the Meet the Press Blog

Other numbers to know:

$4.68: That’s the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in America, according to AAA, down from $5 a month ago. 

11,564: Out of the 1 million gun background checks that took place in 2020 and 2021, that’s how many guns were sold in America to people whose background checks still were not completed after three business days, and whose checks eventually returned showing the buyer should not have been able to buy a gun

8.5: That’s how many hours former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone spent testifying Friday with the Jan. 6 committee, per NBC’s Julia Jester. 

17.8%: The increase in the two-week average of Covid hospitalizations as new omicron subvariants continue to gain steam. 

Midterm roundup: Trump’s roadshow hits Alaska

Trump brought his roadshow to Alaska on Saturday, where he rallied for two high-profile candidates: Senate hopeful Kelly Tshibaka (his pick to unseat GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who voted to convict him after the Jan. 6 attack) and former VP nominee Sarah Palin (who is running in the special election to fill the seat left by the late Rep. Don Young). 

The rally was vintage Trump — profane, and featuring both fawning praise from Trump’s allies as well as a scathing rebuke from the former president of his opponents. 

Not only did Trump repeatedly blast Murkowski as “worse than a RINO … number one bad, and we have a couple of real bad ones” and “horrific.” But he repeatedly laid into Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan, questioning why he’s backing the incumbent despite Trump endorsing him in 2019.

“How Sullivan doesn’t come out and denounce her is amazing to me,” Trump said, per NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard. 

“Murkowski is a bad person and Dan Sullivan should never ever have given her an endorsement. Dan Sullivan, Dan Sullivan should be ashamed of himself.”

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Ohio Senate: Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan and Republican J.D. Vance sat down with NBC’s Yamiche Alcindor and Olympia Sonnier to discuss how the issue of abortion access is playing out in their race. 

Washington Senate: Republican Senate hopeful Tiffany Smiley’s campaign says she will report raising $2.6 million in the second quarter of 2022, the Washington Examiner reports

Wisconsin Senate: Democrats and Republicans are up with two new ads in Wisconsin that exemplify how the parties are responding to the recent ruling on abortion — a new Democratic spot warns blasts Republican Sen. Ron Johnson as extreme on abortion access, while one from Johnson and the NRSC focuses how the rising cost of living is “killing the middle class.” 

Michigan Governor: Republican businessman Kevin Rinke is up with a new spot that links President Biden and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, while praising Trump and including footage of Biden’s recent fall while biking. 

Michigan-08: Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee is running a new ad focusing on agricultural issues, arguing he “delivers for Michigan farmers and the folks we feed.” 

Pennsylvania-07: Politico reports that GOP polling found Biden’s approval rating 32 points underwater in Democratic Rep. Susan Wild’s district, just one of the battleground House races where Biden’s numbers are struggling. 

Ad watch: You get an ad, and you get an ad ...

Former nonprofit CEO and best-selling author Wes Moore is up with a new ad narrated by arguably his most famous supporter — Oprah Winfrey.  

Winfrey is lending her star power to Moore’s candidacy just over a week before the competitive July 19 gubernatorial primary in Maryland. The spot largely recounts Moore’s bio — in her words, he’s been a “Rhodes scholar, a captain in the army, CEO of one of the nation’s largest anti-poverty organizations” who has spent “a life spent lifting up others the type of transformational leader that these times demand.”

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

President Biden penned an op-ed in the Washington Post explaining why he decided to travel to Saudi Arabia. 

NBC News is reporting that former Trump aide Steve Bannon now says he is “willing” to testify in front of the Jan. 6 committee. Tuesday’s hearing will include testimony from a former Oath Keepers spokesman.

Politico reports that Trump’s attorney, Justin Clark, spoke with the Justice Department last month.