A small ray of hope for Democrats: Biden fails very early


“How far can they go” is no longer a question for Democrats on the price of the reconciliation bill. It also applies with equal urgency to President Biden’s job approval ratings.

The last numbers of quinnipiac are devastating for Democrats. Only 38% approve of Biden’s performance in office while 53% disapprove. Among the independents, his approval is in his thirties.

A problem-by-problem breakdown is even worse. Biden is underwater over his handling of COVID-19 and this is the area where he is strongest. 54% disapprove of his handling of taxes, 55% of the economy, 57% of the work he did as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, 67% of his control of the border with Mexico and 67% of immigration more generally.

A day earlier, Quinnipiac, whose polls have been rather too pro-Democrat in recent cycles, released generic ballot numbers showing Republicans leading Democrats in congressional voting preferences. But Biden’s numbers are an even bigger concern for the party. A top democratic data scientist concluded that if Biden was below 50% at the end of the year, “we’re probably screwed.”

The Democrats’ only hope is how far Biden’s struggles started. Many candidates peaked too early, with polling peaks subsiding by the time voting began. Maybe Biden is hitting rock bottom too early for Republicans to take advantage of.

The midterm elections are over a year away. The 2024 presidential race is the political equivalent of a lifetime from now. Who knows what might happen if the pandemic finally recedes, the economy and inflation stabilize, certain bills are passed and a real, non-generic Republican becomes the character Biden is opposed to?

The alternative is that between the onset of the border crisis and the end of the disorderly withdrawal from Afghanistan, the public definitely lost confidence in Biden’s competence or his ability to ensure the normalcy that eluded his chaotic predecessor.

Democrats must hope Biden recovers. Otherwise, their narrow majorities could be swept away by a tsunami that would make 1994 or 2010 look like a blue wave in comparison.


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