“Never Trump?” ‘Never Biden’ voters could swell.

Certain Democrats trying to deal with President Biden’s consistently disappointing 2024 poll numbers share an article of faith: the ceiling theory.

All Biden needs to do is rally allies who aren’t enthusiastic about him — especially young, black and Hispanic voters — against Donald Trump. After all, the former president’s ceiling has proven to be low; neither in the 2016 elections nor in the 2020 elections did he reach 47 percent. And Biden has shown that he can win a majority of votes.

There is some truth in that. But it ignores something important that hasn’t received much attention: Polls show that Biden’s ceiling actually appears to be lower than Trump’s.

While much attention has been paid to the “Never Trump” Republicans, the “Never Biden” voters appear to be growing even larger — at least for now.

In 2020 it was the opposite. Every time the question was asked, the percentage who said they would never vote for Trump exceeded the “Never Biden” contingent by double digits.

Often, at least 50 percent of voters not only said they weren’t voting for Trump, but that there was no chance they would. At most, only four in 10 said the same about Biden.

The latest poll showing this is Monday’s New York Times-Siena College poll of six key swing states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In those states, 46 percent of registered voters said there was no chance they would vote for Trump, while 52 percent said the same about Biden.

That’s the largest gap yet, including an earlier Times and CNN poll from last month. But even with smaller gaps, each of these polls in recent months has produced more “Never Biden” voters than “Never Trump” voters.

And in three out of four such polls since November, a majority of voters said they would never vote for Biden — just as was the case with Trump in 2020.

Part of this is that voters are excited about the idea of ​​reinstalling Trump as president.

As noted, retrospective assessments of Trump’s presidency have been better than at virtually any time he was actually in power—something his critics have labeled “Trump amnesia.” The CNN poll mentioned above is an example of this. While 55 percent labeled Trump’s presidency a “failure” in the closing days, 55 percent now label it a “success.”

So it’s no surprise that the “Never Trump” segment of the electorate has dropped from well over 50 percent to the mid-to-high 40s.

But it’s also true that Biden doesn’t appear to be a viable option for many voters right now — any more than a majority, and certainly much more so than in 2020. That same CNN poll found that 61 percent view his presidency thus far as a ” failure’ for example.

The high “no chance” numbers for Biden undermine another common tension of perhaps overly optimistic Democratic thinking: that the president will benefit if and when third-party candidates like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. time fades away (as often happens).

While recent data suggests the Kennedy factor is pulling more on Trump than on Biden, some on the left have argued that third-party candidates like him are bad for Biden, period. The reason? They lower the threshold for victory for Trump, a candidate who (again) has not proven that he can reach even 47 percent.

But Trump’s ceiling doesn’t actually seem that low right now; he is at 49 percent against Biden in the six states surveyed by the Times.

Biden’s ceiling, on the other hand, seems so low. And that suggests he has more work to do than just rallying the troops against a common enemy.