Biden Sees No Polling Bump for State of the Union Democrats Described as ‘Electric’

March 13, 2024

President Joe Biden did not experience a polling bump in the wake of his State of the Union address on which Democrats heaped praise, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Biden was statistically tied with former president Donald Trump in a hypothetical matchup between the two major-party presidential nominees in a YouGov poll from January. Biden took 44 percent of the vote while Trump took 45 percent. The two remained statistically tied in a Tuesday poll from the same organization, with Biden taking 44 percent and Trump taking 46 percent. The gaps in both polls were within the margin of error.

Additionally, 29 percent of respondents said Biden was fit to serve as president, and 51 percent said Biden's age is a "big problem" affecting his fitness for the presidency—both values being the same as in January. What's more, 30 percent said Biden has been "mostly in charge" in his presidency, while 53 believed he was "mostly passive." Those values were nearly unchanged from January with the former category being 28 percent, the latter 54 percent.

Forty-five percent of Americans watched at least part of the speech, according to the poll, and 16 percent consumed news coverage of the event, meaning about 6 in 10 followed it in some way.

The poll, which researchers conducted in the days immediately following Thursday's State of the Union, queried 1,482 adults and had a 2.8 percent margin of error.

After Biden gave the speech, Democrats praised him for his energy and forcefulness.

"Electric. It was electric ... perhaps one of his best speeches ever," Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D., N.Y.) said the day after the speech. "I think it will go down in history as one of the best State of the Unions."

Another New York Democrat, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, similarly praised the speech on X right after its conclusion.

"President Biden showed up, delivered a forceful speech and smoked the MAGA extremists. My dude," Jeffries wrote.

At the same time, some Democrats were critical of part of the speech, mainly because Biden chose to go off script and describe 22-year-old Georgia nursing student Laken Riley's alleged killer—a Venezuelan national who authorities said entered the country unlawfully—as an "illegal." Biden later expressed regret for that remark.