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Poll: 68% of voters have worries about Biden’s mental and physical health

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.
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If it’s TUESDAY… President Biden hits two evening fundraisers in Chevy Chase, Md…. It’s an active day in New Hampshire, with Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy all having events in the Granite State… Tim Sheehy announces GOP bid for MT-SEN, as NRSC Chair Steve Daines welcomes Sheehy’s run… And Senate report finds intel agencies failed in the lead-up to Jan. 6 attack. 

But FIRST... Our recent national NBC News poll has some decent news for President Joe Biden, despite the survey showing him with an overall approval rating remaining in the low 40s among registered voters. 

Biden leads Donald Trump by 4 points nationally in a hypothetical match-up (which is almost identical to his popular vote win in 2020). His fav/unfav rating in the poll (39% positive, 48% negative) is higher than Trump’s (34% positive, 56% negative). And just like in 2020, Biden is ahead among independents in his match-up against Trump. 

Yet here’s the bad news for the president: 68% of all voters say they have concerns about Biden having the necessary mental and physical health to be president, including 55% who say they have “major” concerns. 

By comparison, 55% of voters say they have concerns about Trump’s mental and physical health, including 44% who have “major” concerns. 

What also stands out is how concerns about Biden’s mental and physical fitness have grown since we last asked this question in Oct. 2020 — when 51% of voters said they had concerns, with 38% having “major” concerns. 

And check out these numbers: In 2020, 21% of Democrats said they had moderate/major concerns about Biden’s fitness. Now it’s 43% of Dems who say this. 

That’s almost half of Democratic voters.

Headline of the day

Data Download: The number of the day is … 74%

That’s the share of registered voters in our latest NBC News poll saying that the country is headed in the wrong direction, versus just 20% of voters who say it is on the right track.

That is the largest portion of people to say that the country is headed in the wrong direction since the Aug. 2022 poll, when 74% also said the country is on the wrong track. In May 2022, 75% of people said that the country was on the wrong track.

The last time that over 30% of respondents said that the country was on the right track was in April 2021, when 36% of people said that the country was headed in the right direction. In nine of the last 10 NBC News polls, the “wrong track” share has been at least 70%. 

Other numbers to know:

84: The number of potential witnesses Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith wanted to keep secret in the prosecution against Donald Trump over classified documents. A federal judge rejected that request Monday.

Five or six: The number of Secret Service agents who have testified in front of a grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump’s alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol.

12%: The portion of Republican primary voters who chose South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott as their second-choice in the Republican presidential primary in a new NBC News poll, up nine points from April’s poll. 

12: The number of states that have “safe haven” or “shield” laws related to transgender care for minors, following New York’s passage of such a law. 

 3: The number of years that eviction moratoria have lasted in some California cities, with mixed reactions as they are finally set to expire

21: The number of Starbucks stores that closed over the weekend due to union strikes over allegations that the company banned LGBTQ pride displays.

0.5%: The percentage that rents fell in May compared to a year ago, the first drop since early in the pandemic, the Washington Post reports.

119 degrees: The highest temperature in some parts of Texas this week, where the heat is hitting records and not expected to let up before the holiday weekend, the New York Times reports.

Eyes on 2024: GOP hopefuls head to New Hampshire

Both former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will be in New Hampshire on Tuesday, holding dueling events in the early primary state. 

Trump will address the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women Lilac Luncheon and attend the opening of his campaign’s state headquarters, per NBC News’ Emily Gold. And DeSantis will hold a town hall. 

Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy will also be holding town hall events Tuesday in the Granite State.

Despite its early primary status, campaigns and outside groups have spent just a fraction of their overall ad spending in New Hampshire, and the pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down has been off the air for more than a month, per AdImpact. 

But New Hampshire could be a key state for DeSantis as he looks to gain momentum in early states against Trump. “If he wins in the first caucuses in Iowa but then loses in New Hampshire, it will put a significant road bump in his momentum. And if he loses both states, it will raise serious questions about his ability to win the GOP nomination,” write NBC News’ Natasha Korecki and Henry Gomez.

In other campaign news…

Lordy, there’s a tape: CNN released audio of a conversation where Trump appears to be showing a group Pentagon documents, including one that appears to be related to Iran, which he acknowledges are “secret,” and later says “As president, I could have declassified it, now I can’t.” 

DeSantis to DeBorder: DeSantis traveled to the border city of Eagle Pass, Texas, where he outlined his immigration policy, calling for using “deadly force” against drug smugglers, per NBC News’ Gabe Gutierrez and Bianca Seward. 

Da situation in Russia: NBC News’ Peter Nicholas reports on how the unstable situation in Russia could be a serious test for President Biden ahead of his re-election. 

Ramaswamy’s millions: The New York Times looks into how businessman and Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy made his fortune in the biotech industry, including through an initial public offering for an Alzheimer’s drug that failed clinical trials. 

Doing the dirty work: The head of former Vice President Mike Pence’s super PAC told Politico the group won’t be afraid to “check other candidates,” and that his plan for the group is to be “all gas,” and no brakes. 

He’s running: Former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy, a Republican, announced Tuesday that he is running for Senate in Montana, challenging Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, per Fox News. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines, also a Montanan, said in a statement, “Tim Sheehy is a decorated veteran, successful businessman, and a great Montanan. I could not be happier that he has decided to enter the Montana Senate race.” 

Back to the drawing board: The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Louisiana’s congressional map should be redrawn, siding with the view that the current map minimizes Black voters’ influence, per NBC News’ Lawrence Hurley.

ICYMI: What ELSE is happening in the world

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a request by House Democratic lawmakers to view government documents related to the Trump international Hotel in Washington.

 FBI Director Christopher Wray will testify before the House Judiciary Committee in July. 

Anthony Fauci, the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is joining Georgetown University as a professor for the medical school and the school of public policy.