Louisiana State Rep. Jeremy LaCombe has made a significant announcement this week by leaving the Democratic Party and switching to the Republican Party. While the exact reasons for his switch remain unclear, he becomes the second Louisiana Democrat to do so in less than a month and the third in the country, following a state lawmaker in North Carolina who also made the switch.

This move has further strengthened the Republican supermajority in the state House, which is crucial for overriding vetoes and passing tax measures. Rep. Francis Thompson of Delhi, another Democrat, recently switched to the GOP as well. Tricia Cotham, a state representative from North Carolina, also made a similar move earlier this month. LaCombe had previously secured his House seat with strong electoral support, winning 68% of the vote in a special election and 62% in a general election in 2019.

Amidst these party switches, President Joe Biden is facing a near-record low approval rating, especially among key groups. An average of polls compiled by RealClearPolitics (RCP) indicates that former President Donald Trump has now outperformed Biden in surveys for a potential match-up. Trump currently holds a 0.6 percentage point lead over Biden in the RCP average, with four out of seven polls conducted this month leaning in his favor. Since RCP began tracking these numbers in November 2022 when Trump announced his candidacy, both candidates have swapped positions multiple times, with leads ranging as high as 2.5-2.8 percentage points. Trump’s lead in the RCP polling average last occurred in July.

In terms of the GOP nomination race, Trump is currently the front-runner with 56.6% of the vote. Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida, has consistently held the second position, although RCP’s tracker shows a decline in his average from a peak of 31.3% in January.

On the Democratic side, Biden leads a much smaller field, typically securing 40% to 60% of the vote. In comparison, Robert Kennedy Jr.’s support has ranged from single digits to numbers in the teens.

Voters have expressed significant concerns about Biden’s age, as he is 80 years old, and his ability to lead effectively. Trump, who is 77, also raises age concerns among respondents, although not to the same extent.

Additionally, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has initiated an impeachment investigation into allegations of corruption involving Biden.

Trump is currently facing four criminal cases along with civil lawsuits. These legal challenges have consumed both financial resources and media attention as he mounts his defense. However, Trump has vehemently denied all wrongdoing, entered a not-guilty plea to the charges, and has claimed that prosecutors are pursuing a politically motivated “witch hunt” against him.

Contrary to expectations that indicting Trump would harm his brand for the 2024 election, his polling numbers have surged since he was hit with four indictments in New York, Washington, D.C., Fulton County, Georgia, and southern Florida. Moreover, he is gaining ground over Biden in critical swing states, according to a recent survey.

“The states that had the narrowest margin of victory for either candidate last cycle were Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, with Biden winning all but North Carolina. Across those key swing states, Trump is ahead of Biden 41% to 35%, and 24% of voters remain undecided, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll,” The Daily Caller reported.

“Among independent voters, the former president also held a slight advantage over Biden, according to the poll. Trump received 32% support among independents compared to Biden’s 30%, and 38% were undecided. Uncertain voters favored Biden over Trump at 49% to 38%,” The DC noted, citing the survey.

In a hypothetical match-up for the 2024 election, President Biden and former President Trump find themselves in a dead heat with both receiving 39% of voter support, as indicated by the survey. Numerous voters have expressed concerns about the president’s age, in addition to worries about the state of the economy and rising crime rates, which are significant factors influencing their voting decisions.

On the other hand, Trump is leading his presumed Democratic adversary in several key swing states, based on polling data from Echelon Insights in July. According to the survey, “48% of respondents in swing states would probably or definitely vote for Trump, compared to just 41% for Biden.” While Biden maintains a narrow lead among likely voters nationwide, with 43% favoring him compared to 42% for Trump, the Republican front-runner could secure 270 Electoral College votes by winning in these critical swing states, as reported by the Washington Examiner.

Furthermore, when factoring in the potential Green Party challenger, Cornel West, Biden’s hold on the overall vote becomes less certain. The poll reveals that West has the capacity to attract a substantial portion of Biden’s liberal voters, potentially swaying the majority of the electorate in favor of Trump.

“When taking West into consideration, Biden’s share of the vote drops to 42%, with West taking 4% of the vote. Trump emerges triumphant with 43% of the vote,” the Examiner added. “Trump’s lead in swing states is further solidified when West is involved as well. Trump’s share remains at 48%, while Biden’s drops to 40%.”