Just five months ago, Joe Biden entered the White House as the most popular president in American history, if one is to make that judgment based upon the reported vote tallies of the 2020 election. Thus far, he has pursued the agenda he promised during the presidential campaign and so, one might have thought, he would at this point still enjoy overwhelming popularity.
Is it even conceivable, then, that a Monmouth University poll, released June 16, has Biden’s job approval rating at 48%? And that it’s down to 51% in the Rasmussen Reports daily presidential tracking poll for June 18? The number from Rasmussen includes 39% who strongly disapprove of the job Biden is doing, compared to 30% who strongly approve.
For context, it is worth noting that this same tracking poll had Donald Trump at the identical approval rating five months into his own presidency. Of course, Biden was hailed by the media as the man who would save America, whereas Trump was supposed to bring economic ruin, war, chaos, and dictatorship. Considering how much public opinion is driven by media influence, one could be forgiven for assuming that support for Biden should be considerably higher than that enjoyed by his predecessor at the same point.
So, is this a stunning case of buyer’s remorse? It could certainly be argued that that is part of what is going on here. Digging a little deeper into the Monmouth poll shows Biden’s job approval down six points from April. His approval amongst Democrats has fallen to 86%, down from 95% last month, and 19% of Republicans give Biden positive marks, which is up from 11% in April. The biggest drop, though, was among independents, with just 36% approving – down from 47% a month ago.
Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, says that the decline is at least in part due to the uncertainty voters are feeling about the Biden administration’s agenda. “The plans are broadly popular, but the path to getting there is not so clear cut,” Murray says. “This is one of those situations where the administration has to weigh short term blowback in public opinion against what they hope will be long term gains.”
Too Much Promised?
There can be no denying that Americans are now feeling the effects of inflation. The Monmouth survey shows that 93% of Republicans, 70% of independents, and 55% of Democrats are “at least somewhat concerned about rising prices,” fueled by the administration’s proposed spending plans.
As hard as they have been working to prop up the Biden administration, even the left-wing media are having to acknowledge that the honeymoon, such as it was, might be over. Of course, they are not going so far as to blame the man himself or his policies, but rather, dwindling hope among Democrats that the Biden agenda will be realized. “Biden’s Job Approval Takes a Hit, Driven by Sagging Hopes Among Democrats,” a headline in The New York Times reads. The story implies that obstructionist Republicans on Capitol Hill are really to blame.
In politics, what goes around comes around. For four years, congressional Democrats fought tooth and nail to kill every Trump initiative. Now, however, the media is crying foul because the opposition party has enough Senate seats to prevent the passage of legislation – asking, in effect, how dare they?
Perhaps Democrat voters and a lot of independents – having been convinced by the media that Trump was the worst, most evil, and most corrupt president in U.S. history – expected an instant improvement in their lives and are a bit miffed that this has not happened. Unlike the man he replaced, Biden has no business experience, which has led him to make the mistake Trump did not; he has over-promised and under-delivered.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.