Our Increasingly Unpopular President
A Commentary By Brian C. Joondeph
President Joe Biden, now in the second year of his presidency, is becoming increasing unpopular in the country that supposedly elected him with a record-setting 81 million votes. He promised to be a healer, not a divider, and to fix the economy along with all the other deficiencies attributed to his predecessor. How is he doing?
An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Research poll of U.S. adults found that 39% approve of Biden’s job performance. Only 2 of 10 adults believe the US is heading in the right direction or that the economy is good. Just 33% of Democrats, who mostly voted for Biden, believe America is heading in the right direction.
This is the lowest approval number of his presidency, at least according to this poll. Another poll from Quinnipiac University noted that Biden’s approval rating among Hispanic Americans, an important Democrat voting coalition, has plummeted to 25%.
It is always instructive to look at who was surveyed in assessing and validity of a poll. In the AP poll, the survey population was 45% Democrat and 37% Republican, an 8% difference. One could assume that if Democrats and Republicans were surveyed equally, Biden’s approval number might be in the low 30s.
This survey also only queried U.S. adults, not registered or likely voters, the latter far more likely to determine election results compared to those who simply respond to an email invitation or phone call.
Rasmussen Reports, one of the most accurate pollsters, surveys likely voters, providing a more relevant sense of the electorate. How to they rate Biden’s approval? They conduct a Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, comparing Biden and Trump’s approval numbers on a daily basis. On Friday May 20, Trump’s total approval was 50% while Biden was 10 points lower at 40%, similar to the AP poll noted above.
Rasmussen Reports also asked likely U.S. voters if the country is heading in the right direction. As of mid-May, only 26% of those surveyed thought America was heading in the right direction, down two points from the previous week.
It seems that President Biden is on the wrong side of issues that matter to Americans. Trump was criticized over his approach to foreign policy and leaders. Yet he always put America first and was the first U.S. president in recent memory to not entangle the U.S. in any foreign conflicts or wars.
Abortion is another issue near and dear to the Democrat party. Again, Biden and the Democrats are on the wrong side of this issue. A Rasmussen Reports survey of likely U.S. voters noted that 67% “believe abortion should not be legal past the first three months of pregnancy. That includes 24% who think all abortions should be illegal.”
Some Democrats pushing for legal abortion up to or beyond birth are probably alienating many of their voters, except for their hard-core base.
Climate change, or global warming, is another Democrat key issue and like abortion, may not resonate beyond their fervent base. Rasmussen Reports asked likely US voters what they thought. “Forty-five percent don’t think climate change will be important in the fall midterms, including 21% who say it will not be at all important.
What about inflation? It is hard for Americans not to notice rising prices. Rasmussen Reports found inflation concerning to likely U.S. voters. “87% are at least somewhat concerned about inflation, including 60% who are very concerned.”
Comparing these and other issues also yields interesting results. Rasmussen Reports found, “More voters are concerned about violent crime and illegal immigration than about abortion rights.” In addition, “A majority of voters are concerned about rising energy costs and favor increased drilling for oil and gas.” Democrats are not on the popular side of any of these issues.
With the midterm elections coming up, and control of Congress in the balance, Republicans have a slight edge in voter desire for Congressional control. The 538 Project average gives Republicans a 2.4% edge over Democrats, with Quinnipiac University and Rasmussen Reports showing a GOP advantage of 4 to 9 points.
It's hardly time for Republicans to break out the champagne. The GOP has been described as the “stupid party”, not for electing Donald Trump but going back much farther. Former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal made this observation in 2013, long before Trump and MAGA.
The midterms are the Republicans to lose, and they still might despite their opponents being on the wrong side of almost every issue important to voters. Candidates who can avoid foot-in-mouth disease and instead make a compelling case for policies reflecting majority American voter desires, can easily win their elections.
But knowing how the GOP can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, don’t bet the farm on the midterms.
Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a physician and writer. Follow me on Twitter @retinaldoctor. And on Truth Social @BrianJoondeph.
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