AMAC Exclusive – By Neil Banerji
There’s no two ways about it – August has been a downright dismal polling month for President Joe Biden.
Things got off to a rough start for the embattled president with an AP-NORC Center poll of 1,165 U.S. adults fielded from August 10-14. Just 42 percent approved of Biden’s job performance, while 57 percent disapproved – including 39 percent who strongly disapproved. Only 24 percent of respondents said the country was headed in the right direction, while 74 percent said it was headed in the wrong direction.
The AP-NORC poll was also bad news for the White House’s recent “Bidenomics” messaging push. Just 36 percent of respondents approve of the way Biden is handling the economy, while a whopping 63 percent disapprove.
Broken down along partisan lines, 8 percent of Republicans approved of Biden’s handling of the economy, while 65 percent of Democrats said the same. While 65 percent represents a solid majority, that number is unusually low for voters of the incumbent president’s party. Those results suggest that, even among Democrats, there is significant frustration with Biden’s performance.
The “Bidenomics” push has been especially lost among rural and suburban Americans, according to an Ipsos poll released this month. 86 percent of people in rural areas report paying higher grocery prices now than they did last year, while 85 percent of people in suburban areas said the same.
A Quinnipiac poll released on August 16 found similar results to the AP-NORC poll. 39 percent of registered voters surveyed approved of Biden’s job performance, while 55 percent disapproved. While “the economy” was the most frequent answer for what the most important issue is in next year’s election (32 percent) just 3 percent of respondents rated the economy as “excellent,” 25 percent rated it as “good,” 34 percent said “not so good,” and 37 percent said “poor.”
Another survey from Rasmussen Reports released on August 15 found that 37 percent of likely voters rate the economy as “good” or “excellent,” while 47 percent gave it a poor rating. Other polls from Fox News, Gallup, and Harvard-Harris also estimated Biden’s approval rating on the economy to be in the high 30 percent range.
There are also some troubling signs for Biden’s support among Black and Hispanic voters, two blocs the president heavily relied on in 2020 and which he will need to win by big margins in 2024.
According to a New York Times/Siena College poll of 1,329 registered voters released on August 1, Biden’s approval rating among Hispanics is just 41 percent, compared to 50 percent who disapprove. In 2020, Biden won 66 percent of the Hispanic vote nationally.
Although Biden’s net approval rating is still +34 percent with black voters (60 percent approve, 26 percent disapprove) that number is a far cry from the 92 percent of the black vote Biden won in the 2020 election. Some Democrat insiders have also expressed concerns that enthusiasm for Biden among black voters has slipped significantly from three years ago.
Among all non-white voters without a college degree, Biden is up just one point, with 47 percent approving of his job performance and 46 percent disapproving.
These results have caused Biden’s overall numbers in a hypothetical 2024 matchup against former President Donald Trump to continue to sag. While Biden was leading by several points in most polls just a few months ago, he leads by just 1.1 points in the latest Real Clear Politics average. The New York Times/Siena poll found the race to be a dead heat, with 43 percent saying they would support Biden and 43 percent saying they would support Trump.
Even among his own party, Biden is struggling. According to an Emerson College poll released last week, 61 percent of likely Democrat primary voters say they support Biden, while 12 percent prefer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and 4 percent prefer author Marianne Williamson.
Barring any major scandal or health crisis, Biden will likely have little trouble securing the Democratic nomination next year. But 61 percent is an unusually low level of support for an incumbent president. Even amid all the mainstream media attacks, Trump routinely polled at 90 percent or higher in 2020 Republican primary surveys.
The Biden team has repeatedly dismissed these alarming results, insisting that the president and his policies are far more popular than virtually every polling agency would suggest. Confronted with data showing that the White House’s economic message isn’t breaking through with voters, Biden Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted “polls don’t show everything” and doubled down on the claim that Bidenomics “is indeed working.”
But with just over 15 months to go until Election Day 2024, Americans just aren’t buying it, and Biden and his allies can only deny reality for so long.
Neil Banerji is a proud Las Vegas resident and former student at the University of Oxford. In his spare time, he enjoys reading Winston Churchill and Edmund Burke.