politics

Disapproval of Biden hits new high

Disapproval of Biden hits new high

President Joe Biden’s popularity in the early months of his term proved to be transitory. Now surging inflation is among the reasons that more voters are expressing disapproval than at any point in his presidency. Adding ingratitude to injury, the progressive activists Mr. Biden has been indulging since the moment he took office are now talking about canceling him before the 2024 general election. No wonder Senate Democrats want to talk so much about the last days of the Trump presidency. There’s precious little for them to celebrate about the current one. Nearly 54% of Americans express disapproval of the job Mr. Biden is doing in the Oval Office—a new high for his term in the RealClearPolitics average of public opinion polls. Meanwhile just 42.3% of Americans approve of the president’s work. This column will offer the usual caveat that polling is not an exact science, if it’s even a science. But the bad Biden news across the survey landscape has to concern partisan Democrats. Thomas Franck reports on the latest CNBC/Change Research poll, which finds 56% of respondents disapproving of Mr. Biden: Frustrations over the economy are the main culprit behind Biden’s flagging popularity as nearly every demographic declared it their No. 1 issue. The economy was the top priority for men and women, every age cohort, Latino and white voters, and those with and without college educations. Black respondents, who named racism their chief priority, said the economy takes second place. Sixty percent of the survey’s 1,895 respondents said they disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy, marking a six-point decline in approval from September. On personal economic issues, voters are even more likely to criticize the president. Some 72% disapprove of his handling of the price of everyday goods, while 66% disapprove of his efforts to help their wallets. Even more ominous for Mr. Biden—and the congressional Democrats who will face voters in November—few respondents see inflation as transitory or offset by wage increases. According to Mr. Franck: Some 84% of those surveyed said the prices they see for everyday goods are higher than they were a year ago, while just 19% report earning more income over the same period. And only 23% say they believe inflation is starting to come down or will begin to decline soon. Susan Page reports similar findings in the latest Biden survey from USA Today: His job approval rating in the poll is 40% approve vs. 54% who disapprove, a slight improvement from the 38% approval rating he had in the November poll but still lower than any other modern president at this point in his term except for Donald Trump. This may be one reason: By 62%-33%, those surveyed say Biden isn’t a strong leader... What worries Americans about the economy? It’s not even close. By 3-1, 71%-24%, those surveyed are concerned more about inflation than jobs. Speaking of weak leadership, the president is now meekly accepting the latest effort by the left wing of his party to trash the rules of his beloved Senate in an effort to seize partisan advantage via a federal takeover of election law. This follows his indulgence of the long, unsuccessful 2021 effort to enact trillions of dollars of progressive priorities via a partisan reconciliation process. Yet the activists who should be his steadfast allies after a year of offensive federal overreach are now openly turning on Mr. Biden. Holly Otterbein notes in Politico that “liberals are talking about treating him like former President Jimmy Carter... and mapping out a Democratic primary challenge in 2024. She reports: “Will there be a progressive challenger? Yes, said Jeff Weaver, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ former presidential campaign manager. Weaver stresses that he is not advocating for such a primary campaign. But the chatter about a left-wing challenge to Biden, which was virtually nonexistent weeks ago, has suddenly burst into public view in the wake of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) killing the president’s climate and social spending bill. “He’s deeply unpopular. He’s old as [expletive]. He’s largely been ineffective, unless we’re counting judges or whatever the hell inside-baseball scorecard we’re using. And I think he’ll probably get demolished in the midterms, said Corbin Trent, co-founder of the progressive No Excuses PAC and former communications director for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). “People will smell opportunity, and D.C. is filled with people who want to be president. Among the vices of the unforgiving progressive left are envy and intolerance, but perhaps the greatest is ingratitude. Remember when inflation was transitory? Prices of used cars have lately been an area of acute inflation pain for consumers. They may have to wait a bit longer for relief, judging by the prices car dealers have been paying for used vehicles in the wholesale market. Consulting firm Manheim reports: Wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted basis) increased 3.1% in the first 15 days of December compared to the month of November. This brought the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 239.8, a 48.9% increase from December 2020. James Freeman is the co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China and American Revival. Download.

politics 2022-01-05 Livemint