Poll: Dems Despair as Independents Ditch Biden at a Breakneck Pace


There have been two constants in Gallup’s polling on President Joe Biden: Democrats are enamored, Republicans are appalled. Independents, meanwhile, are where the president’s fortunes will rise and fall.

And fall they have.

For the first time in Biden’s administration, the president’s disapproval rating is higher than his approval — and by a 10-point margin, at that.

The poll, taken Sept. 1-17 via a phone panel of 1,005 U.S. adults and released Wednesday, found 43 percent approved of the job Biden was doing compared with 53 percent who disapproved. Vice President Kamala Harris was even at 49-49 approval/disapproval.

The September poll was the first conducted since the fall of Afghanistan, with over 120,000 people airlifted out of the country. America has also seen increased COVID-19 infection rates and virus-related restrictions after Biden promised to “shut down the virus.”

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Perhaps the most onerous restriction was the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate, introduced on Sept. 9, while the poll was being conducted.

During the August poll, conducted between Aug. 2-17, Biden held a slight approval surplus, with 49 percent approval, 48 percent disapproval. His high point was in January, when 57 percent approved and 37 percent disapproved — a 20-point margin.

The poll didn’t even take the full brunt of the Haitian migrant crisis at the Del Rio International Bridge in Texas into account. That portion of the border crisis didn’t begin to manifest fully until Sept. 15, and it wasn’t until Sept. 16 when Fox News’ Bill Melugin reported the numbers in the camp had doubled nearly overnight from over 4,000 to over 8,000 individuals.

All of which is to say that September’s poll could have been a lot worse — and October’s could end up feeling the hangover from this month.

Biden’s approval is at an all-time low in all three categories — Democrat, Republican and independent — since the first poll was taken in January. Among Democrats and Republicans, however, that drop was modest.

In January, 98 percent of Democrats approved of the president compared to 90 in September. Eleven percent of Republicans thought Biden was doing a good job in January; only 6 percent did in the September poll.

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Where Biden is hemorrhaging support is among independents.

“Independents have shown the greatest variation in their opinions of how Biden is doing. Biden’s current 37% approval rating among independents is his lowest to date and 24 points below his personal high of 61%,” Gallup said.

“Two-thirds of Biden’s slide among independents since he took office has occurred in the past three months.”

That’s not a good look, particularly given the fact the Biden administration was supposed to be bridging the gap to the middle. Remember, the current president is the kind of guy who could reach out to Americans in the middle or those fed up with politics. He’d make Washington work. He’d beat that virus, spend tons of money on good ol’ grade-A U.S. infrastructure and bring America back to the world table.

Will Joe Biden be a one-term president?

He’s done none of that. He’s alienated all but his base. He’s created numerous crises, not the least of which was the fall of Afghanistan. The border is a mess. The Democrats don’t seem to have the votes at the moment to pass a debt ceiling hike the way they want to, get their $3.5 trillion spending plan through Congress and also enact the bipartisan infrastructure bill they negotiated.

As Gallup pointed out, all presidents enjoy honeymoon periods before things sink back to reality. The difference is that Biden’s honeymoon period should have lasted longer. He was handed vaccines to the COVID crisis that had paralyzed our nation’s economy. He was left with a small troop imprint in Afghanistan that still seemed to be providing enough protection to keep the ruling government in power. If he managed all that correctly, which shouldn’t have been difficult, the honeymoon period could have gone on indefinitely.

And now we’re here with a deeply divided electorate where independents can’t trust a radical administration. It’s not just that Biden is down 24 points among independents in nine months. It’s that the 37 percent number is likely to go even lower, and at a breakneck pace at that. He’s well on his way to being a one-term president — and Democrats are doubtlessly despairing at the ineptitude.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture