Douglas Andrews / October 11, 2021

Biden Isn’t Bouncing Back

The president’s terrible polling numbers have hardened, because the people now know who he is.

It’s way too early to write off Joe Biden’s presidency. He’s just over eight months into it, and he can still do plenty of damage in the remaining 40. But it’s not too early to say that millions of folks who voted for him are experiencing buyers remorse. They now see that this feeble, feckless puppet parroting the hard-left policies of his party socialists, isn’t the man they were told he was. He’s not the “uniter” he promised to be, but in fact, a consummate divider.

In short, the Democrats perpetrated a fraud on the electorate — except those of us who saw through this long ago.

Perhaps the strongest indication of this widespread discontent — aside from the stirring “Let’s Go, Brandon” chants that are sweeping the nation — is the prolonged nature of his plummet in the polls. He hasn’t bounced back. His disastrous mismanagement of our withdrawal from Afghanistan, which resulted in the loss of 13 warriors, the abandonment of untold American civilians and Afghan partners, and the forfeiture of tens of billions of dollars in American warfighting gear, was a full six weeks ago. Normally, when a president hits a rough patch, the polling plunge is temporary. Not so with Scranton Joe, whose plunge is both deep and wide, and the number-crunching lefties at FiveThirtyEight have taken notice:

President Joe Biden spent the beginning of his term comfortably above water in the polls. On July 20, the six-month anniversary of his inauguration, his average job approval rating stood at 52.3 percent, and his average disapproval rating stood at 42.5 percent — numbers that were fairly representative of his first semester.

But that honeymoon period came to a halt in late summer. The delta variant of the coronavirus led to a surge in cases and deaths starting in late July, accompanied by renewed fears about the economy and inflation; by Aug. 15, Biden’s approval rating had dropped 2.3 percentage points (to 50.0 percent), and his disapproval rating had risen 1.3 points (to 43.8 percent). That same day, the Taliban seized control of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, completing a stunningly fast collapse of the country’s government following the withdrawal of American troops. … By Aug. 30, more Americans disapproved of Biden’s job performance than approved of it, and on Sept. 8, his approval/disapproval spread was 45.0 percent to 49.1 percent.

What Biden and his handlers wouldn’t do for a 45% approval rating these days. Instead, as an October 6 Quinnipiac poll indicates, he’s registering his lowest-ever marks all across the board. Only 38% approve of the job he’s doing, while 53% disapprove, and 9% are afraid of getting audited. (For reference, the Quinnipiac poll released three weeks prior to this one had him at 42% approval and 50% disapproval.)

But while these awful top-line numbers give us a general sense of Biden’s woes, the numbers on his personal attributes are even more devastating. By a 55% to 42% margin, he’s not seen as competent in running the government. By 50% to 44%, he’s not seen as honest, and by 56% to 41%, he’s not seen as a good leader.

As for specific issues, only 39% approve of his economic stewardship, 37% approve of his job as commander-in-chief, 34% approve of his foreign policy, 25% approve of his immigration policies, and 23% approve of his handling of the border with Mexico.

What about “independents,” those fickle folks who decide elections? They disapprove of Biden by nearly 2-1, 60% to 32%.

What does all this mean — all these resoundingly bad numbers that haven’t bounced back upward? Mostly that the American people have made up their minds about Joe Biden. They’ve seen the direction he’s taking the nation, and they don’t like it. Further, they know he’s not going to get any younger, any smarter, any funnier, any more competent. And while Barack Obama largely got away with his unpopular policies because the media worked so furiously to portray him as personally likable, Joe Biden isn’t being afforded that same luxury.

The result? A president who’s both professionally and personally unpopular, and a president whose agenda is in deep trouble. I.e., Joe Biden is damaged goods. And with a 50-50 Senate and a razor-thin margin in the House, he has zero margin for error, and zero leverage over moderate Democrats who value their own political lives.

Think about it: If you were a congressman or senator seeking reelection in a competitive district or state, would you throw in behind this wildly unpopular president and his equally unpopular policies?

Finally, and speaking of polling, former President Donald Trump was in Iowa this weekend, where, according to the Des Moines Register, he’s enjoying his best numbers ever in the Hawkeye State. The poll shows 53% of Iowans now have a favorable view of Trump, while 45% are afflicted along the spectrum of mild to acute Trump derangement, and 2% are too afraid of a Biden audit to admit they miss the guy.

These numbers are consistent with recent polling from the left-leaning Pew Research Institute, which also found Trump’s popularity to be surging while Biden’s spirals downward. Pew’s poll found that 67% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents want Trump to remain “a major national political figure.” That’s a 10-point increase since Pew last asked the question in January. In addition, just 11% say their party should be “very accepting” of elected officials who criticize Trump, while 44% of that same group want him to run for president again.

And, hey, we’re just 1,121 days from Election Day 2024.

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