President Joe Biden has tried to redefine the word “recession.” Can he do the same thing with the term “approval rating?”
If not, then he and the Democrats are in real trouble. That’s because the latest round of presidential polling from Gallup came out Friday — and Biden not only sits at a personal low of 38 percent, his sixth-quarter average of 40 percent approval is the lowest of any president during the history of the Gallup poll.
Just for clarification, that goes all the way back to Dwight David Eisenhower, who hit the sixth quarter of his presidency in 1954. That’s right — Biden sits at the lowest number in seven decades.
In a media release, Gallup did try to soften the blow: “No president elected to his first term has had a lower sixth-quarter average than Biden, although Jimmy Carter’s and Donald Trump’s ratings were only slightly better, at 42%. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan also averaged below majority approval.”
Just so we’re clear, though: At least four of the five presidents mentioned there suffered cataclysmic wipeouts in the midterm elections. (Ronald Reagan, while he didn’t fare well in the 1982 midterms due to a recession, saw a Senate that was largely unchanged, even if the Democrats did gain 27 seats in the House. So, it could be five out of five, depending on your definition of whether 1982 was a wipeout. Either way, those aren’t the odds I would pick, were I a Democrat.)
The July 5-26 Gallup survey has a bevy of bad numbers for the president beyond precedent, as well.
GALLUP: Biden Sixth-Quarter Average Is LOWEST for an Elected President pic.twitter.com/Pg9aqoyhJM
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) July 29, 2022
As it stands now, the numbers have Biden at 38 percent approval and 59 percent disapproval. That gets worse when you look into who feels strongly about him, however.
In a follow-up question, 45 percent of respondents strongly disapprove of how Biden is doing his job. By comparison, only 13 percent strongly approved.
He was also down among every political persuasion but Republicans, who I suspect approve of the way he’s made such a botch of it that the November midterms will be a snap.
Among Democrats, Biden’s approval rating fell from 85 percent on June 1 to 78 percent on July 5 — a 7-point drop in just a month.
Among independents — whose loss of confidence in Biden has been the fuel behind the downward trend in his numbers — only 31 percent approve of the job Biden is doing.
That’s down five points from 36 percent on June 1. However, the key number to look at is 61 percent. That’s the percentage of independents who approved of Joe Biden on Jan. 21, 2021 — the first full day of Biden’s presidency. You read that correctly — a full 30 percent drop.
Oh, yes, Republicans. There was the bright spot. Three percent approved of him on June 1. That’s improved to … 5 percent.
I can only surmise that 2 percent of my GOP brethren are watching those Senate seats in Nevada and New Hampshire turn into tossups and are licking their lips like a 1940s cartoon wolf who has the Democrat donkey tied up and cooking in a boiling cauldron with some potatoes and celery. Or perhaps it’s the fact that the margin of error in the poll — taken from a random sample of 1,013 adults interviewed via landline telephone — is 4 points.
You be the judge, although I like the cartoon wolf imagery better.
And — would you believe it? — it gets worse.
No matter what people believe about how well Joe Biden is doing his job, what matters is what gets people to fill out ballots. Liberals have argued that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the refusal of two centrist Democrats — Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — to do away with the filibuster might drive Democrats to the polls to support Biden’s agenda.
At least in regards to Democrat sentiment toward Biden, however, that’s not coming across.
“For the first time in Biden’s presidency, Gallup asked Americans about the intensity of their views toward him. Republicans are most likely to hold strong opinions about Biden — nine in 10 do — and since most disapprove of the job he is doing, the result is 87% strong disapproval of Biden among Republicans,” Gallup’s media release read.
“In contrast to Republicans, 36% of Democrats have strong opinions about Biden. Thus, Democrats are much less likely to strongly approve of the job he is doing (30%) than to moderately approve (48%).”
If voter outrage over abortion and the filibuster were to be a major factor in the midterms, it would show up in the intensity of Democrat support for Biden. The president, “devout Catholic” that he is, has been loudly banging the drum on abortion, demanding the Senate nuke the filibuster and pass a bill that would codify Roe v. Wade.
It’s worth noting that a separate poll seems to confirm the overturning of Roe v. Wade is unlikely to be a driver in the midterms nationwide; a Washington Post-Schar School poll, also published Friday, found only 55 percent of voters who say abortion should be legal are certain they’ll vote in November. That’s compared to 66 percent of those who say abortion should be illegal. In addition, “Rising Prices” was the number-one issue for voters polled, with 39 percent saying it was “one of the single most important issues.” Only 31 percent listed abortion.
And then there’s the final nail in the electoral coffin: If prior precedent is any predictor, none of this is likely to change before it matters.
“History suggests it would be unlikely for Biden’s approval rating to improve during his seventh quarter. To date, only one elected president — George H.W. Bush — has seen meaningful improvement in his seventh quarter,” Gallup noted.
And even that came with a caveat: “The increase reflected a rally in support for Bush after he condemned Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, which eventually led to the U.S. and allies fighting the Gulf War against Iraq in early 1991.”
Those numbers, sadly, reflect the reality of Biden’s administration. Inflation was at 9.1 percent in June, a new high for the president. Biden and his lackeys spent much of this week trying to redefine the word “recession” so that economists wouldn’t say we were in one. (We are, according to the real definition of the word — two quarters of negative economic growth.) New revelations from Hunter Biden’s laptop have raised new questions about how much the president knew about his wayward son’s foreign business dealings — despite his insistence he’s never talked to Hunter about any of them.
As for the president himself, he perpetually comes across as a man who could use a nice, long nap. “Naptime in America,” alas, isn’t an inspiring campaign slogan, particularly when Democrat voters appear prepared to nap through the midterms.
Unfortunately for Biden, it doesn’t look like he’ll be able to redefine “red wave” the same way he tried to redefine “recession.”
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