With exactly a year to go before the US presidential election, a new string of polls painted a grim picture Sunday for Joe Biden, showing him trailing likely challenger Donald Trump among a pessimistic electorate.
The Democratic incumbent's numbers look especially bleak among people of color and young voters, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll.
The survey shows Biden trailing Trump by between four and 10 percentage points among voters in Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania -- five crucial states that helped him defeat the Republican in 2020.
In Wisconsin, however, respondents said they preferred Biden by two percentage points -- within the margin of error.
A CBS News/YouGov poll showed Biden trailing Trump by three points (51 percent to 48 percent) in a national head-to-head match-up.
"The real bottom line? One year from today, the American people will fire Crooked Joe Biden and hire President Donald J. Trump to Make America Great Again," the Trump campaign said in a triumphant statement following the poll data.
The Biden campaign put on a brave face, countering that "predictions more than a year out tend to look a little different a year later," and pointing to the polling struggles of Biden's former boss Barack Obama before his 2012 election win.
"President Biden's campaign is hard at work reaching and mobilizing our diverse, winning coalition of voters one year out," campaign spokesman Kevin Munoz added.
"We'll win in 2024 by putting our heads down and doing the work, not by fretting about a poll."
- 'Legitimate concern' -
But the former head of the Obama campaign, Democratic strategist David Axelrod, said Biden's numbers were cause for "legitimate concern."
"If he continues to run, (Biden) will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. What he needs to decide is whether that is wise; whether it's in HIS best interest or the country's," Axelrod said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Voters have a negative impression of both candidates, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll, with 60 percent taking an unfavorable view of Trump and 50 percent saying the same about Biden.
And in the CBS News/YouGov poll, 73 percent of US adults feel things are going "somewhat badly" or "very badly" for the country. Two-thirds of respondents in the New York Times/Siena poll said the country is moving in the wrong direction.
- Economy, immigration -
In all three polls, those surveyed highlighted fears over the economy, with Ipsos respondents saying inflation was their most important concern. Thirty-five percent said they trust Republicans to do a better job on the issue, while only 21 percent said they trusted Democrats more.
The polls also showed Trump and the Republicans coming out on top in questions on immigration, though the Times found that Biden is still seen as more trustworthy among voters on abortion.
Times respondents also said that on the issue of democracy, they preferred the president over Trump -- who is facing four criminal trials, including one centered on accusations that he actively conspired to overturn the 2020 election results.
A majority of women said they preferred Trump, while Biden's advantage among voters under 30 has slipped to only one percentage point, according to the Times poll, despite their strong support for the Democrat in 2020.
And support for Biden also faltered on the age question, with more than 70 percent of respondents to the Times poll saying the 80-year-old Biden is too old to be president, while only 19 percent said the same of Trump, who is 77.
- Biden backlash -
All three polls, conducted in late October and early November, come in the wake of a difficult period for Biden, as he faces harsh criticism over the US reaction to Israel's war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Thousands of protesters gathered in Washington on Saturday to call for a ceasefire in Gaza amid Israel's relentless bombing campaign.
Many slammed the US president's response to the conflict, shouting slogans such as "Biden, Biden you can't hide, you signed off on genocide" and "We say no, Genocide Joe."
According to the Times, voters said they would prefer Trump on the Israel-Hamas conflict by 11 points, while Ipsos respondents said they trusted Republicans over Democrats on the issue by seven points.