AMAC Exclusive – By Claire Brighn
While Republicans and moderates are certainly none too pleased with the Democrat Party and its policies in recent years, a deeper dive into the numbers shows that Democrats’ real problems also extend within their own traditional base of support. If recent polling is any indication, Biden and Democrat elites have moved far too left even for the party faithful. Democratic leadership’s embrace of a radical social and economic agenda is threatening to fracture, split, and alienate rank-and-file Democrat voters—and perhaps turn millions of them into Republicans.
According to a McLaughlin poll from late last month, Biden’s approval rating sits at 41% – around the level it has been since January. What has changed, however, is a sizeable drop in support among Biden’s base: 25% who voted for him in 2020 now disapprove of the job he is doing. Even more significantly, 19% of registered Democrats disapprove – a high figure for an incumbent President.
In another poll from Civiqs, Biden’s approval rating sits even lower at 36%, with his approval rating among Democrats at just 74%. For reference, Donald Trump had 90% approval among Republicans in the same poll at the same point in his presidency during a midterm election year. In fact, Trump’s approval among Republicans increased over time as he passed key legislation such as tax cuts, whereas as Biden, who began with over 90% Democrat approval, has only declined.
This is bad news for Congressional Democrats who, up until now, have hitched their wagon to the far left agenda that Biden has pursued as president, with a recent Trafalgar poll showing that on a generic congressional ballot, 48% would vote Republican and 39% Democrat. This nine-point spread, according to pollster Robert Cahaly, is “a little more than normal” in a midterm election year. And, “just because somebody said [they’re] going to vote for a Republican for Congress does not make them a Republican,” he added, meaning a significant number of Democrats are unhappy with what they’ve seen from their own party thus far.
All this suggests that on key issues where Biden and Democrats have worked to implement their policies – such as the border, spending, taxes, and education – they have moved far to the left of where the average Democrat voter stands. Squad member AOC unknowingly admitted as much last April when she said that Biden had “exceeded” progressive expectations since coming into office.
A Data for Progress survey offers further context for just how radical Biden and Congressional Democrats have become compared to ordinary Democrat voters. On progressive policies ranging from “Medicare for All” to the carbon tax, support was consistently higher among Democratic elites (defined as “those who hold significant authoritative roles in government, or those outside government whose occupations position them to influence those inside government as a significant part of their job”) than likely Democrat voters. The survey found, for example, that while more than 95% of Democrat elites support a carbon tax, just 75% of likely Democrat voters did. On immigration, too, a greater share of Democrat elites supported a “path to citizenship” among those already illegally in the country than average likely Democrat voters. At the very least, this points to an ideological rift between the ultra-progressive elites and the party’s own supporters.
As Biden and Democrats have worked to enact the progressive agenda, problems have grown, support has predictably lagged, and their polling has fallen.
On energy, for example, a recent Trafalgar poll shows roughly 30% of Democrats said Biden should step down if gas prices reach $8 per gallon. Another Trafalgar poll showed a whopping 67% of Democrats said Biden should increase American energy production in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Instead, Biden asked other countries to pump more oil, at the same time proposing roughly $43.5 billion in tax hikes on U.S. gas and oil production. Pair this with a HarrisX poll showing that 36% of Democrat voters are not willing to pay more in taxes to address climate change, and this means that Biden and Democrat elites have almost certainly overestimated support among Democrat voters for their radical climate agenda at the cost of day-to-day living.
On crime, a February Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 62% of Democrats feel that defunding the police is a factor in the increase in violent crime. Regardless, Squad members like Cori Bush won’t let the unpopular policy go, and Biden has focused his crime policy on “gun control.”
On the border, there are also serious problems for Biden and Democrat leaders. Last June, a YouGov poll showed just 27% of Democrats said there is “no crisis” at the border – a shockingly low number which has likely only fallen since. Now, as Biden is set to repeal Title 42, an April Trafalgar poll shows 22% of Democrats say that the border should be closed until a solution is reached. Among Hispanic voters, this figure is a whopping 65%. For a president who relied on winning 59% of the Hispanic vote in 2020, that number is troubling indeed.
Perhaps even more glaringly, the Democratic elite’s embrace of woke, gender-bending language and ideology is also deeply out of touch among average Democrat voters. Biden’s consistent use of the word “Latinx” – which only 1 in 4 of Hispanics have even heard of – is an example of this. And according to a Public Opinion Strategies poll from March, when presented with the actual text of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s parental rights bill, 55% of Democrats support it. Moreover, 67% of Democrat voters do not want to see gender removed from passports. The Biden State Department has already issued “X” passports.
On abortion, turns out the politics are not so cut and dry as Biden and Democrats in Congress would have us believe. An AP-NORC poll from June of last year found that 80% of those surveyed said that third trimester abortions should be illegal in “most” or “all cases.” Regardless, Biden and Democrat leaders are pushing legislation that would in effect codify the right to abortion up until the moment of birth. Moreover, Biden’s spending proposals do not include the Hyde Amendment – even though a January Marist poll shows 29% of Democrats do not support taxpayer dollars funding abortions.
On virtually every issue that matters to Americans, Biden and Congressional Democrats have opted for the far left approach, leaving them egregiously out of step with their voters. Election results are beginning to confirm as much. After Ohio’s special election last week, for example, longtime Democrat strategist James Carville said that the loss of Nina Turner – a Bernie-backed progressive (and the “darling of the urban left”) – to the more establishment Democrat Shontel Brown was a major wakeup call to those in his party. He urged Squad members Cori Bush and Rashida Tlaib to “start reading the election results” because “nobody likes you.”
But if the better part of these past two years have been any indication, Democrat elite policy objectives are so entrenched that there is little chance – and little desire – for a course correction. As more Democrat voters grow increasingly disenchanted, Biden and Congressional Democrats risk not just losing elections, but destroying their coalition entirely.
Claire Brighn is the pen name of a conservative researcher and writer with previous domestic and foreign policy experience in the Executive Branch.
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