For all the talk about how President Biden’s poll numbers have taken a turn for the worse in recent months, it’s worth emphasizing just how much those numbers remain in the neighborhood of the new political normal.

Biden’s average approval rating stands at about 43 percent, which is a number Donald Trump didn’t reach for the vast majority of his presidency. George W. Bush spent most of his second term below 40 percent, and Barack Obama was in the 40s for most of his tenure.

That said, however much Biden remains politically viable, there is often a difference between approval and a belief that the politician is the best option. And a poll from Marist College shows a significant disconnect on that front when it comes to Biden and the Democratic Party.

The NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll shows Democrats approve of Biden 85 percent to 10 percent — the kind of partisan loyalty we’ve come to expect from such polls, even when a president’s fortunes are down. But the poll also asked a telling question about just how much Democrats would like to see Biden run again in 2024. When asked whether “Democrats have a better chance of winning the presidency in 2024 if Joe Biden is the party’s nominee, or if someone else is the party’s nominee,” Democrats are split 41 percent to 41 percent.

When you include Democratic-leaning independents, the question actually cuts against Biden, with 36 percent saying he is the best option and 44 percent preferring “someone else.” Twenty percent are unsure.

That’s only a little more than one-third of the voters Biden would rely upon in 2024 saying they prefer to have him on the ballot again.

It’s a reality of political polling that the grass is greener on the other side. People responding to such questions are invited to consider their ideal, hypothetical candidate as a replacement for Biden — not the kind of actual, very-human candidate who would run in his place (warts and all). And as The Post’s David Weigel notes, it’s also quite possible that many Democrats assumed Biden was a one-term proposition in the first place, given his age.

That said, it’s pretty remarkable how much Democrats would like to turn the page on an incumbent president in 2024. Only about half of Democrats who like the job Biden is doing also say he’s preferable to that hypothetical “someone else.” And the GOP side is very notably reversed, with 50 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents saying Trump gives them a better chance, versus 35 percent who say someone else would.

Part of that would seem to owe to affection for Trump. A strong majority of Republicans like Trump. But the question is also a pragmatic one. It’s not about whether you think the guy would be the best president for your side; it’s about whether you think he would have the best chance of winning for your side. Despite Trump being a historically unpopular president and having very recently proved his electoral limitations in 2020, Republicans still prefer (or at least say they prefer) to roll the dice on him.

You can call that blind loyalty, but the fact that Biden doesn’t command as much loyalty on this question is significant, given that he’s the guy who just won less than a year ago.

It’s difficult to find an analog for a political party saying, preemptively, that it would prefer to replace a president with a new nominee in the following election. In 2010, shortly before Democrats lost big in the election that year, Gallup gave Democrats a choice in a rematch between incumbent Obama and Hillary Clinton as their 2012 nominee. They still picked Obama 52 percent to 37 percent.

There have been times when we’ve seen it not with incumbent presidents but with emerging nominees. When Trump was the presumptive GOP nominee in the summer of 2016, for instance, a poll still showed that Republicans preferred “someone else” to him, by 52 percent to 45 percent.

About the best comparison is the last time we had a serious primary challenge to a sitting president. Before Ted Kennedy launched a campaign against Jimmy Carter in 1979, a New York Times-CBS News poll showed that just 23 percent of voters favored Carter in such a matchup. Six in 10 preferred either Kennedy (52 percent) or then-California Gov. Jerry Brown (8 percent). Carter still won the primary against Kennedy — rather easily — but lost to Ronald Reagan in 1980.

We also shouldn’t necessarily interpret this as an appetite for a primary challenge should Biden choose to run again. For one, he is pretty broadly acceptable to Democrats, even if they don’t necessarily see him as their best hope. And partisans will know that splintering the party in a primary against an incumbent president could hurt the party in the general election. There’s a reason that rarely happens, and you can bet the national Democratic Party would do plenty to prevent it if it were rearing its head in 2024. (See above.)

And indeed, it’s hardly a foregone conclusion that Biden runs again. When his luck was down in the 2020 primaries, a report indicated he had floated a one-term pledge. (Biden HQ denied this.) He is also already the oldest person to win a presidential election, at 77, and he would be close to 82 at the time of the next vote — more than eight years older than the oldest president to win reelection.

We shouldn’t discount how much age might factor into whether people want him to run again. Polls of old politicians tend to skew in favor of “someone else,” even if people aren’t necessarily pushing hard for someone else.

A case in point: A recent poll showed two-thirds of Iowans preferred “someone else” to 88-year-old Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) in 2022, but he still leads in his reelection bid. (This poll, though, was about who would be best for the job, rather than who could win, and the partisanship of red Iowa comes into play with Grassley actually running.)

But whatever the factors involved here — and however realistic it would be that someone would step forward to run against Biden and actually garner significant support — it’s not a vote of confidence from his fellow partisans. It suggests there are indeed reservations about Biden’s political future, for whatever reasons.

And when given the option to say that without necessarily saying “we don’t like the guy,” plenty of his supporters are willing to say it.