Trump leads Biden in new poll as conflict in Israel fuels criticism

A new poll from NBC News this weekend shows President Joe Biden in his worst position to date — with no signs of clearer skies ahead.

The incumbent now trails his likely 2024 challenger, Donald Trump, among voters nationwide. despite the former president's continued legal escapades, Mr. Biden trails his opponent 46-44.

The reason for his continued slide is clear: Americans are fast becoming burdened with the president's handling of US foreign policy and America's presence on the world stage. The spiraling conflict in Israel has only served to turn America's younger, long-leaning Democratic voters against the president as seven in 10 voters aged 18-34 disapprove of Mr. Biden's response.

His approval rating is now at 40 percent — the lowest NBC has recorded at any time during the Biden presidency. This poll also marks the first time Biden has trailed Trump in an NBC survey.

A huge generation gap in the US has grown in recent weeks amid the Israel-Hamas conflict. Older generations have largely favored the status quo in Washington, where politicians have lined up to defend Israel's military actions in the Gaza Strip and elsewhere. Younger Americans have been broadly divided in favor of the US call for a ceasefire in the region and are largely opposed to the recent Israeli military campaign that has left a large number of civilian dead in the Gaza Strip.

For Mr. Biden, 80, the situation is all the more desperate because of already existing concerns about his ability to effectively lead the US in advanced age. His support in his own party is already seen as thin, with opinion polls suggesting most of his party's voters would prefer him to leave. A cratering of enthusiasm and support among younger members of his party could pose a serious problem for his re-election efforts in the future.

The NBC poll polled 1,000 registered voters across the country between November 10 and 14. The margin of error was 3.1 percentage points.

The White House has tried to walk a line amid the bloody conflict and express condemnation of both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, but while his team has been praised by the center-right, it has failed to win over his party's activist base.

He remains the heavy favorite to win the Democratic primary, given that his national party has expressed no intention of hosting debates. But the general election remains uncomfortably murky ground, and a growing number of Democrats are starting to sound the alarm about what a critical loss to Donald Trump would mean for the country if it happens next year. Extensive reports suggest that Mr. Trump hopes to arm the Justice Department against his political enemies, such as Joe Biden and the Biden family, and pursue a radical right-wing political agenda.

Mr. Biden and other prominent Democrats continue to insist that the president remains the best candidate to defeat Trump in 2024 and reject any suggestion that he will step down. In response to these latest numbers, many, such as former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, expressed the view that the president had time to change his chances.