Talking Points

3 new polling takeaways for Trump, Biden, and congressional Democrats

The new Quinnipiac poll released on Tuesday contains good news for Donald Trump, bad news for Joe Biden, and a mixed bag for congressional Democrats investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill.

First, the Trump news. As we approach the one-year anniversary of the 2020 election, Republicans want to see the former president run for the nation's highest office again in 2024 by a sweeping margin of 78 to 16 percent. That's up substantially from last May, when the divide was a somewhat narrower 66 to 30 percent. This has to be encouraging for Trump and those in his circle, since it reinforces that he has the party's nomination locked up if he wants it. (We knew that already, but these results certainly show no sign of wavering GOP support.)

When it comes to President Biden, Quinnipiac continues to deliver disappointing results. In this poll, just 37 percent of the public approves of the job the president is doing, while 52 percent disapprove, placing him 15 points under water. This is one point worse than the gloomy 38 percent approval rating the poll captured last week. Does that make Quinnipiac a harbinger of continued trouble ahead for the administration? Or does it signal that the polling outfit is misleadingly off base for Biden? Either way, Quinnipiac is clearly an outlier, coming in a full seven points below FiveThirtyEight's aggregate approval tracker.

Then there are Quinnipiac's findings about the congressional investigation into the events of Jan. 6. Roughly 6 in 10 Americans (59 – 35 percent) believe the events that day were an attack on the government, and about 4 in 10 (42 percent) largely hold President Trump responsible for them. But do respondents support the work of the congressional investigation into what happened at the U.S. Capitol? Apparently only 40 percent want to learn more about led to the insurrection, while a total of 56 percent say that enough is already known about it.

That points to a vulnerability for the Democrats leading the investigation. If it uncovers significant new revelations, a substantial portion (about two fifths) of the country will be eager to hear the news, with perhaps a few skeptics willing to revise their opinions. But if the investigation reveals little we didn't already know, congressional Democrats may find a solid majority of the country tuning out from the investigation and even blaming them for fixating on the past.

That's not the worst news in the world, but it's not quite what Democrats in Congress had been hoping for.