Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden said in a recent interview that Americans who believe they're better off now than they were four years ago "probably shouldn't" vote for him in the upcoming election.
A recent survey from Gallup found that a majority, 56% of U.S. registered voters, believe they are better off today under President Donald Trump than they were four years ago when President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden held office. In the 36 years since Gallup began asking voters if they were better off now than they were four years ago, Trump is the only president to have a majority of respondents say yes.
A reporter for WKRC-TV in Cincinnati brought up the poll to Biden and asked, "Why should people who feel they are better off today, under the Trump administration, vote for you?"
"Well, if they think that, they probably shouldn't," Biden replied. "They think 54% of the American people are better off economically today than they were under our administration? Well, their memory is not very good, quite frankly. And in addition to that, we have a president who doesn't share the values of most Americans. He's not very honest with people; he is flouting the conventions relative to public safety in terms of even now, not wearing a mask, a guy who's been a super-spreader."
"Look, whatever they believe, they should go out and vote," Biden added. "People should vote, period. If I'm elected, I'm not going to be president, a Democratic president, I'm going to be a president for all Americans, whether they voted for me or against me."
In 1980, when Ronald Reagan ran for president against Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter, his famous closing argument asked the question, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"
Joseph Curl, writing for JustTheNews.com, noted that since Gallup began polling the question, presidents who poll at least in the mid-40s have typically won re-election.
Historically, president who are at least in the mid-40s on the question have won re-election. In December 2012, shortly after President Barack Obama was re-elected, Gallup found 45% felt that they were better off than four years ago. Just before President George W. Bush was re-elected in 2004, Gallup found that 47% said they were better off. And before Reagan won re-election in a 49-state landslide in 1984, 44% said they were better off.
But during President George H.W. Bush's re-election bid in 1992, just 38% of Americans told Gallup they were better off than four years before. He lost.
Despite the Gallup poll, Biden remains favored to win the election by most political forecasters. FiveThirtyEight's election model simulated the election 40,000 times and found that President Trump won re-election about 13 in 100 times. The FiveThirtyEight model "relies mainly on state polls, which it combines with demographic, economic and other data to forecast what will happen on Election Day."