This is the first in a series of three pieces in which Charlie Cook previews the 2024 party primaries and general election.

In his bid for a second term in the White House, President Biden has no shortage of problems. For starters, Americans are in a pessimistic mood. An NBC News national survey conducted in June showed that only a fifth of voters believed the country was headed in the right direction; almost three-quarters felt it was on the wrong track. Given that, it should not be surprising that in the RealClearPolitics average of major national polls, Biden’s job-approval rating on July 1 was 43 percent, while in the rival FiveThirtyEight weighted average of polls, his approval was an even more anemic 40 percent.

The Gallup poll has the longest track record in measuring presidential approval. At 43 percent, Biden’s Gallup approval is below that of eight of his 10 elected predecessors in June of their third year in office. Below Biden at this point were Jimmy Carter, whose approval rating was just 29 percent in June 1979, and Donald

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