The same poll gives President Donald Trump a 42% favorable rating and a 57% unfavorable rating.
What’s the point: The 2020 election was, like almost every election involving an incumbent, mostly about voters’ feelings toward said incumbent. Not enough attention, however, has been paid to the fact that the challenger was a fairly popular guy. He did not allow Trump to make this election a choice of the lesser of two evils.
Indeed, Biden is more popular than Trump has been at any point since he started running for president in June 2015.
Trump never actually got above 50% in any live interview poll.
This gives an insight: Biden being more popular than unpopular isn’t abnormal. What was abnormal was that Trump was elected, despite being so unpopular. Perhaps even more unusual is that he could never get above 50% during his presidency, which is unheard of in modern American politics.
[I should note that Trump would still have a historically low ceiling even if you added 2 points to his favorable rating to take into account any polling miscues (i.e. the final polls underestimated him by 2 points, once you allocate undecided voters).]
Biden’s relatively high favorable rating comes, despite the overall Democratic Party poll slagging behind. The Democratic Party’s favorable rating was just 45% in the Gallup poll. Biden running ahead of the Democratic Party’s popularity was true in October polls from Gallup and CNN as well.
The Republican Party’s favorable rating, on the other hand, at 43% basically matched Trump’s at 42%.
This brings us to a big question as Trump exits the White House: Will the Republican Party continue to be defined by him?
And for Democrats, will the Democratic Party’s favorable ratings rise when Biden enters the White House? Or will Biden begin to get defined by Americans’ feelings toward the Democratic Party as a whole?
Those are the questions that may ultimately determine not just the 2018 midterm elections, but the 2024 presidential election as well.