Exactly a year before the 2024 presidential election, new polls paint a portrait of US discontent with President Joe Biden.
In the latest polling by The New York Times and Siena College, the president trails his top Republican opponent, Donald Trump, in five of the six swing states that were crucial to securing Biden’s victory in 2020.
The results show the president is losing ground among younger, Black and Hispanic voters — key Democrat constituencies — as voters air doubts about a host of issues from Biden’s age (71 per cent believe he is “too old,” including a majority of his own supporters) to his handling of the economy (59 per cent trust Trump to do a better job on the economy versus just 37 per cent for Biden).
President Biden’s camp has been quick to shrug off renewed calls for him to step aside, downplaying the relevancy of polling this far out from election day.
But for Australians, these results serve as a reminder of a stark reality: the US president who hosted Prime Minister Albanese during his recent official visit to Washington may not be the same US president occupying the Oval Office come 2025.
So, how do Australians feel about the prospect of a second Trump presidency?
A new poll by the United States Studies Centre finds that almost half (45 per cent) of Australians think a second Trump term would be bad for Australia. If Biden wins office, Australians are overwhelmingly against (56 per cent) withdrawing from their alliance with the United States. Yet when it comes to a hypothetical Trump re-election, the Australian public is far more divided on the question. The polling finds that 37 per cent of Australian respondents think Australia should leave the US alliance if Trump returns to the presidency next year. Slightly more — 44 per cent — disagree with the idea of doing so.
Of course, a year out from the election, much remains unknown. Trump and Biden are yet to officially secure their parties’ nomination. Earlier this week Trump took the stand in a Manhattan courthouse for a civil fraud trial — part of his growing entanglement of legal trials that will play out alongside next year’s packed calendar of primary contests and conventions.
But for Australians watching on, memories of Trump’s presidency will no doubt be front of mind, as Australia seeks to deepen cooperation with its closest ally at the same time as the United States gears up for a year ahead that will be dominated by domestic debates and political drama — and potentially result in a different White House occupant.
This article was first published in the weekly newsletter 'The 46th'. Subscribe to The 46th here.