The pessimistic electorate behind Biden’s approval ratings


What drives President Biden’s approval rating down?


And all.

Mr Biden’s approval ratings have declined on nearly every issue and among nearly all demographic groups in national surveys over the past two months, as the promise of a return to normal has given way to rising inflation, a smoldering pandemic, a lockdown in Washington and chaos at the border and in Afghanistan.

The president’s approval ratings have sunk into his forties, putting him in a rather lonely historic enterprise. In the age of modern polls, only Donald J. Trump had a lower approval rating at this early stage of his tenure.

There is no evidence that the damage to Mr Biden is irreparable.

Many presidents were re-elected after seeing their ratings drop to similar depths during their first two years in office. Voters may have short memories. And while President Biden’s losses have been pronounced among trusted Democratic constituencies, such as young, Latino and even black voters, these groups can also be relatively easy for Democrats to win back.

But as a fleeting snapshot, the polls seem to paint a pessimistic and even desperate electorate. Not only do Americans believe the nation is on the wrong track, but they say the country’s situation is worse than it was a year ago when Mr. Trump was still president.

A Grinnell College / Selzer poll showed Mr Biden and Mr Trump were tied at 40% in a hypothetical national clash. No live national telephone survey has shown Mr. Trump doing so well against Mr. Biden in the past six months leading up to the 2020 election.

The pessimism of the electorate is both a cause and an effect of Mr. Biden’s protests. On the one hand, they blame Mr. Biden for deteriorating conditions. On the other hand, their pessimism reflects serious doubts about the administration’s ability to meet the challenges facing the country.

Despite the fading news, the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan still seems to hang over the administration. Even weeks later, voters still say “Afghanistan” is the negative thing they most recently heard about Mr. Biden. And since the pullout, a majority of voters have consistently said the Biden administration is incompetent. Perhaps in part because voters now have little confidence in the administration’s ability to solve other problems.

More than 60% of voters say Mr Biden is responsible for the rise in inflation, according to a recent Morning Consult / Politico poll. And 52% of Americans expect the economy to worsen in the next 12 months.

A CNBC poll has found that inflation is now linked to the coronavirus as the most significant problem facing the nation, as more voters say they have personally encountered shortages and rising prices. In a reversal from the 2020 pre-election polls, voters say it is more important for the government to tackle the economy than to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Mr Biden’s handling of the coronavirus continues to be a relative political bright spot. Polls show most voters approve of his requirement that employees at large companies either get vaccinated or take a test. But his ratings on the virus have nonetheless fallen since the summer, with the Delta variant dashing any hope of a quick end to the pandemic.

In a way, the pandemic was only the eighth most worrying issue for voters now, after even burning cultural issues like the southern border and what is taught in public schools.

Much of the president’s focus, however, lies elsewhere: on Capitol Hill, where he gets bogged down in negotiations over his legislative agenda. Polls offer little indication that the stalemate in Washington has cost it public support.

Even so, the passage of the president’s infrastructure and spending bills could be a first step in restoring his political footing. A positive achievement could begin to restore some of the confidence Mr. Biden lost during the tumultuous withdrawal from Afghanistan. And the bills, which attempt to address a long list of progressive political priorities, could be well suited to the task of bringing back Democratic-leaning voters who have deteriorated during his presidency.

For some Democrats, Mr Biden’s apparent weakness among young Latino and black voters has been alarming. This follows Mr. Trump’s strong performance among non-white and especially Latin American voters in the 2020 election, which raises the possibility that Mr. Biden’s weakness today is part of a trend to longer term, and not simply the fleeting result of an unusually unfavorable policy. environment.

Overall, Mr Biden’s approval rating has fallen to around 50 percent among Latino voters in national polls conducted since the fall of Kabul.

Mr Biden retained more support among white voters with a college education than any other demographic, while continuing to lose ground among white voters without a college degree. It also has more support among the men, who surprisingly changed course in 2020, while losing ground among the women, who did not.

Polls offer relatively little indication as to why certain demographic groups have been repelled more by Mr. Biden’s performance than others. Mr Biden appears to have lost ground among the main Democratic constituencies for the same reason that he lost ground among other voters. That wouldn’t necessarily alleviate Democrats’ concerns that they are losing the support of young voters or Latino voters; in fact, it would suggest that many Latino or young voters could be among the first to drop out of Democrats when the going gets tough.

But it would also suggest that Mr Biden faces no particularly serious obstacles to recovering among these groups if the pandemic wears off, the economy grows and normalcy returns. And there is a long history of presidents recovering from an early slump thanks to strong economic growth. Ronald Reagan, Harry Truman, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all saw their ratings drop as low as Mr. Biden’s today, before finally recovering for re-election.

The case of Mr. Truman, a Democrat who presided over the chaotic adjustment to a peacetime economy after World War II, provides a particularly instructive lesson.

The story seems particularly familiar today: As wartime economic measures ended, pent-up consumer spending skyrocketed and inflation reached its highest levels in the last century – even higher than in the 1970s and eclipsing inflation today. The biggest wave of social unrest in American history has spread across the country. Mr. Truman seemed unable to do anything about it. His grades fell and Republicans won Congress for the first time since the Great Depression.

In retrospect, the unrest of 1946 was the prelude to abundant post-war prosperity. Mr Truman would win a thwarted election candidacy and take over Congress.

That’s exactly what Mr. Biden hopes to do if Democrats lose control of Congress mid-term. However, no president has managed to cope since Mr. Truman, whose bust watches over Mr. Biden in the Oval Office.


About Chris McCarter

Check Also

Pound rate against dollar hits 10-week best as dollar slips and stocks rise

The exchange rate between the pound and the dollar (GBP/USD) jumped above 1.1700 and posted …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.