Commentary: Trump Has Been Leading National Polls Since September 2023

Donald Trump
by Robert Romano


Don’t look now, but former President Donald Trump has been leading a majority of national polls, nearly 53 percent, according to, since the polling for the 2024 election cycle began back in 2021, 182 out of 346 polls taken.

President Joe Biden has led just 114 of those polls, or almost 33 percent.

And 50 polls were tied, or 14.4 percent.

As these are national polls rather than state-by-state polls, they promise to measure the national popular vote, which Republicans have not won since 2004 when George W. Bush defeated John Kerry in his reelection bid.

Compared to the 2020 cycle, when 293 polls were taken, Biden led 285 of them, or 97 percent.

And in 2016, Hillary Clinton led 219 out of 259 polls taken, or 85 percent of them.

Both predicted the Democratic candidates would easily win the popular vote in 2020 and 2016, respectively, which they did.

The implication is that the national popular vote is at play — with Trump in the lead.

In recent polls since their June 27 debate, Trump has begun to open a wider lead, now leading the average of polls 47.5 percent to 44.2 percent.

It is also worth noting that Trump has actually overperformed his showing in those polls in both his 2016 and 2020 runs, by 2.5 points and 2.9 points, respectively. So if the polls how 47.5 percent average, it might be more like 50 percent if Trump’s underperformance in polls holds true.

But this is nothing new, nor is this Trump’s widest lead of the race thus far. As inflation has outpaced incomes, the world have become more chaotic and violent crime has risen in many cities, Trump has been leading Biden in the national polling average since Sept. 2023. In late January, Trump was leading by more than 4 points.

Looking at the five-way race with Robert Kennedy, Jr., Jill Stein and Cornell West does not improve Biden’s outlook, with Trump leading by an average of 4.9 points, 42.5 percent to 37.6 percent to 10.3 percent to 2.1 percent to 1.6 percent.

Out of 89 such polls conducted so far, Trump has led almost 72 percent, or 64 of them.

Biden has only 12.3 percent, or 11 of them.

14 of them were tied, or 15.7 percent.

When confronted about the reality of his performance, not just in the debate, but throughout the race in his ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos, who told the President “you’re behind now in the popular vote,” Biden replied, “I don’t buy that.”

And yet that’s exactly what the polls are showing, as unexpected as it is to find a Republican ahead in the race after trailing the popular vote for 20 years.

The fact is, even a tie in the popular vote would still likely bode well for a Republican candidate in the Electoral College.

On that count, in likely swing states in 2024, Trump leads them all: ArizonaNevadaWisconsinMichiganPennsylvaniaNorth Carolina and Georgia.

Now, polls by themselves do not guarantee victory. Just ask Presidents Thomas Dewey and Hillary Clinton, who lost the 1948 and 2016 elections despite leading polls. Candidates still need to connect to voters and then get out the vote. That seems to be how Biden is thinking about the matter—for now—but time is running out to change voter attitudes, which are becoming hard baked at this point in the race. Stay tuned.

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Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.
Photo “Donald Trump” by Donald J. Trump.



Reprinted with permission from

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