Not since Theodore Roosevelt ran against William Howard Taft in 1912 have voters gotten the opportunity to weigh the records of two men who have done the job of president.

And despite holding intensely and similarly critical opinions both of President Biden and of his predecessor, Americans have much more positive views of Donald J. Trump’s policies than they do of Mr. Biden’s, according to New York Times/Siena College polls.

Overall, 40 percent of voters said Mr. Trump’s policies had helped them personally, compared with just 18 percent who say the same about Mr. Biden’s policies. Instead, 43 percent of voters said Mr. Biden’s policies had hurt them, nearly double the share who said the same about Mr. Trump’s policies, the latest Times/Siena poll found.

That presidents are frequently remembered more fondly once they leave office is nothing new. In a retrospective look at nine of the past 11 presidents, approval of job performance increased 12 percentage points after leaving office, both on average and for Mr. Trump in particular, according to a Gallup poll from June.

But recent Times/Siena polls highlight how comparatively well-regarded Mr. Trump’s policies are, even by groups that were affected by policies that Democrats hope will be motivating issues in 2024. And for many, it appears to be all about the economy.


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