LUNCHTIME POLITICS: 2024 Trial Heats – Blaming Biden – Recall Losing – Afghanistan – Tuesday Trivia

Your Daily Polling Update for Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Down 1 from Wednesday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on five polls, ranging from 43% (NPR/PBS) to 46% (Reuters, Rasmussen, Emerson). Biden’s disapproval rating averages 50% today (+1 from Wednesday)…. The following is presidential job approval ratings seven months into each president’s first term (based on polls from Washington Post/ABC and Gallup): 

  • Trump: 37%
  • Obama: 54%
  • Bush 43: 55%
  • Clinton: 51%
  • Bush 41: 73%
  • Reagan: 61%
  • Carter: 54%
  • Ford: 37%
  • Nixon: 62%
  • Johnson: 74%
  • Kennedy: 76%
  • Eisenhower: 74%
  • Truman: 75%

Biden is doing better at this point than only two former presidents, Trump and Ford…. Note that four presidents in a row, Truman to LBJ, had job ratings between 74% and 76% at this point. 

Among voters statewide

% = Vote for recall/Vote against recall
(Trafalgar-R): 43%/53% (anti-recall +10)
(PPIC): 39%/58% (anti-recall +19)

RON’S COMMENT: Two new polls showing the recall of Gov. Newsom failing. The Trafalgar poll showed the recall losing by 8 points last week, now it’s 10 points. The PPIC poll shows it losing by a big margin…. Replacement candidates: Trafalgar has Elder running first with 32%, and Paffrath, a Democrat, running second with 13%. Faulconer and Kiley each have 4% and Cox has 3%. If Newsom is not recalled, the replacement field doesn’t matter.

Among voters nationwide

Donald Trump over Joe Biden: +1 (47-46-6)
Joe Biden over Mitt Romney: +19 (42-23-29)
Joe Biden over Ron DeSantis: +12 (48-36-12)

RON’S COMMENT: Just as it looked like things couldn’t get any worse for Biden––this poll comes along and makes them worse, showing Trump leading him in a trial heat. However, it also shows Biden leading both Romney and DeSantis by wide margins…. Note that “someone else” receives 6% in the Biden vs. Trump trial heat, 29% in the Biden vs. Romney trial heat and 12% in the Biden vs. DeSantis trial heat…. The poll was conducted by Emerson College; their final poll before the 2020 election showed Biden ahead in the nationwide popular vote by 5 points. In the actual election, Biden beat Trump 51.3% to 46.9%, a 4.4-point margin.



  • Donald Trump: 67%
  • Ron DeSantis: 10%
  • Nikki Haley: 7%
  • Mike Pence: 6%
  • Mitt Romney: 3%
  • Ted Cruz: 2%
  • Josh Hawley: 1%
  • Tom Cotton: *
  • Someone else: 5%


  • Ron DeSantis: 32%
  • Mike Pence: 24%
  • Ted Cruz: 13%
  • Nikki Haley: 10%
  • Mitt Romney: 6%
  • Josh Hawley: 6%
  • Tom Cotton: 1%
  • Someone else: 8%

RON’S COMMENT: Two-thirds of GOP voters support Trump for renomination, and one-third don’t.  Without Trump in the race, Florida Gov. DeSantis leads the field of current possibilities with former VP Pence second.

Among adults nationwide

Not worth it: All in all, considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States, do you think the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting, or not? 
Worth fighting: 36%
Not worth fighting: 54%
Three options: Which of these comes closest to your opinion regarding the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan?  Would you say you support the withdrawal and approve of how Biden has handled it, support the withdrawal but disapprove of how Biden has handled it or oppose the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan?
Support withdrawal and approve of Biden’s handling of it: 26%
Support withdrawal but disapprove of Biden’s handling of it: 52%
Oppose withdrawal: 17%
Safe from terrorism: Do you think the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan makes the United States safer from terrorism, less safe from terrorism, or makes no difference?
Safer: 8%
Less safe: 44%
Makes no difference: 45%
Refugees: Do you support or oppose the United States taking in refugees from Afghanistan after screening them for security? 
Support: 68%
Oppose: 27%
Blame: Thirteen members of the U.S. military and at least 170 Afghans were killed near the Kabul airport in a suicide bombing by the Islamic State. How much, if at all, do you blame this attack on Biden’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan
Blame Biden’s handling of the withdrawal a great deal/a good amount: 53%
Blame Biden’s handling of the withdrawal not much/not at all: 43%


Based on the 2020 census, which states have the largest populations: 

  1. Pennsylvania or Illinois?
  2. Massachusetts or Arizona?
  3. Louisiana or Oregon?
  4. Kansas or Arkansas?

(see answers below)

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
AFGHANISTAN WAR: Washington Post/ABC, Aug. 29-Sept. 1
PRESIDENT: 2024: Emerson College, Aug. 30-Sept. 1
CALIFORNIA: Trafalgar (R), Sept. 2-4; PPIC, Aug. 20-29

Publication schedule: Lunchtime Politics publishes when important new polling data is available, usually at least once a week. When we get closer to the next round of elections, we will resume daily publication. Thanks to all our readers and best of health, Ron


  1. Pennsylvania (ranks 5th, Illinois ranks 6th)
  2. Arizona (ranks 14th, Massachusetts ranks 15th)
  3. Louisiana (ranks 25th, Oregon ranks 27th)
  4. Arkansas (ranks 33rd, Kansas ranks 35th)

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