Poll: Biden, Trump statistically tied in favorability

President BidenJoe BidenBiden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day Business lobby calls for administration to 'pump the brakes' on vaccine mandate Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Afghanistan reckoning shows no signs of stopping MORE and former President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day MORE are statistically tied when it comes to their favorability among U.S. voters, according to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey shared exclusively with The Hill on Monday.

Forty-eight percent of respondents say they have a positive view of Trump compared to 46 percent who say they have a favorable opinion of his successor. Biden’s favorability is slightly underwater, however: 49 percent of those surveyed said they have an unfavorable view of the current president, while slightly less  47 percent  report an unfavorable opinion of Trump. 

The findings are a remarkable shift for Biden, who repeatedly outperformed Trump’s favorability numbers throughout the early months of his presidency. 

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But multiple crises, including a surge in new COVID-19 infections in recent months and the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, have bruised public perceptions of Biden. 

Fifty-one percent of respondents now say Trump was a better president than Biden, while 49 percent prefer the White House’s current occupant, the poll shows.

“The mounting issues on all fronts have led to the surprise conclusion that Trump is now seen as good a president as Biden, suggesting the honeymoon is being replaced now with buyer’s remorse,” Mark PennMark PennPoll: Trump dominates 2024 Republican primary field Poll: Biden, Trump statistically tied in favorability Majority of voters say country is on the wrong track: poll MORE, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey, said. 

“Since Trump lost the popular vote by 5 points, Trump getting 51 percent as a better president is actually an improvement from Election Day.”

The latest Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey also shows Biden’s overall approval rating under water for the first time since he took office. Forty-eight percent of those surveyed say they approve of the job he’s doing in the White House, while 50 percent disapprove. 

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That follows on the heels of a July Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey that showed his approval rating sinking to 52 percent from 62 percent in June.

In a sign that the debacle in Afghanistan may be the biggest factor influencing views of his presidency, Biden saw his biggest drops in approval on his handling of foreign affairs and his administration’s efforts to combat terrorism. In both matters, his approval dropped 13 points since July.

Other members of Biden’s administration aren’t faring any better than Biden in the public eye, according to the poll. 

Fifty-five percent of those surveyed say that Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Pence to deliver address on 'educational freedom' in Virginia Obama looks to give new momentum to McAuliffe MORE was a better vice president than his successor, current Vice President Harris. Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenBlinken speaks with Sudan's prime minister after African leader's detainment Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Afghanistan reckoning shows no signs of stopping Senate confirms four Biden ambassadors after delay MORE performs even worse, with 63 percent of respondents saying that his predecessor, Mike PompeoMike PompeoHillicon Valley — TikTok, Snapchat seek to distance themselves from Facebook State: US 'strongly opposes' Israeli settlement expansion Lawmakers praise upcoming establishment of cyber bureau at State MORE, was the better secretary of State.

Penn said that for Blinken, in particular, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has proved particularly tough. 

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“People see Pence as a better VP by 10 points and overwhelmingly see Pompeo as far better than Blinken, who has been out front on Afghanistan,” Penn said.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey of 1,578 registered voters was conducted from Sept. 15 to 16. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. Respondents are recruited via voter panel providers on a randomized basis, and their responses are then weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative poll conducted online, it does not report a probability confidence interval.