CNN, MSNBC guests warn Democrats ‘Biden has work to do’ amid tie in the polls: ‘Very competitive race’

Guests on CNN and MSNBC seemed worried about a new poll that showed both President Biden and former president Trump tied at 46% in a hypothetical rematch, warning that the president “has work to do.”

CNN’s Jim Acosta was joined by Larry Sabato, the Director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. 

“I guess we would be remiss if we were to pass over this Wall Street Journal poll, that found even rates between Trump and Joe Biden, 46% for each. The man on the left side of the screen is the President of the United States and the man on the right is former President of the United States with four indictments, and he is still tied with Joe Biden in the poll. Larry, what you make of that?” Acosta asked.

“Biden has work to do,” Sabato responded. 

He added that it is really about the president and voters’ feelings on the economy and added that age was also a factor.

“This is important for Democrats to get, this is not going to be a cakewalk. A lot of things can happen, but it’s not going to be a cakewalk. Remember, Biden has to be three or four full percentage points of the popular vote ahead of Donald Trump or any Republican nominee to be assured of winning a majority in the Electoral College. We certainly learned that since 2000. So it is not going to be easy. If it really were 46 to 46, the rest going to independent or third party candidates, you’d almost project Donald Trump as the winner. I don’t think that will happen but is good for Democrats to realize that it can happen,” Sabato continued. 


New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker appeared on MSNBC on Saturday to react to the Wall Street Journal’s poll findings as well. 

“After the mugshot and four criminal indictments, you would think that President Biden would have significant advantage, but apparently not. We have learned to take polling with a grain of salt, certainly, but what does this tell you about the appeal of these candidates?” MSNBC host Alex Witt asked. 


Baker said the poll tells us that “the old rules of politics no longer apply,” and added that the indictments against the former president “seem to embolden his base.”

“And so it is an alarm bell for Republicans who don’t want Donald Trump to be their nominee. And it’s an alarm bell for Democrats who think that because of these indictments, he’s going to automatically lose a general election. This poll suggests no, it is a very competitive race. 46 to 46%, as you say we can’t be certain about polls, certainly this far out…but it suggests that this is not, in any way, a gimme for the Democrats – despite former President Trump’s legal troubles,” Baker said.

Baker also responded to remarks from Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who suggested Biden needed to engage in “class politics” and present a better liberal agenda.

He said that more progressive Democrats take issue with Biden’s messaging, but other Democrats are more concerned about his age. 


“And a lot of Democratic voters and independents are nervous about an 80-year-old president who seems to, at times, forget names and get confused and so forth. And I think that’s an issue that you can’t do much about as a White House. That is a problem for this White House. And the White House is basically then depending on the strategy that worked in 2020. They say, ‘look, don’t pay attention to these polls. You guys always underestimate Joe Biden, when push comes to shove. Voters are going to stand with him again, just like they did in 2020, and was like the Democrats beat the odds,’ even though they lost the 2022 midterm elections. And so we’ll see. But I think that there is a lot of nervousness right now in the Democratic Party,” he said.

If the 2024 presidential election were held today between Trump and Biden, the WSJ poll found the two candidates split at 46% support each. Eight percent remain undecided. With third-party candidates thrown into the mix, Trump leads Biden 40% to 39%.

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos also said it was “shocking” that the two were tied on Sunday during “This Week.” 

“It is kind of shocking in a way that, despite all of the baggage that Donald Trump carries, he’s tied with Joe Biden right now,” he said. 

Democratic panelist Donna Brazile reacted to the poll as well and said the party’s biggest problem was “young Black and Latino voters.”

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Fox News’ Kyle Morris contributed to this report.

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