'Wrong Track:' Who's Up for Some More Brutal Polling for Biden and the Democrats?

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Posted: Jan 24, 2022 10:35 AM
'Wrong Track:' Who's Up for Some More Brutal Polling for Biden and the Democrats?

Source: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Sure, why not? The guy can't keep the promises he made on the campaign trail, can't stand up to the wing of his own party that he defeated, and increasingly can't convince voters that he's even up for the job. It was a dreadful slog of a first year in office for President Biden, and as we enter a midterm election cycle, electoral prospects for his party remain dim. The president's overall job approval rating has been and remains badly underwater in the averages: 


NBC News' latest polling points to a Democratic "shellacking": 


More findings

Overwhelming majorities of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, that their household income is falling behind the cost of living, that political polarization will only continue and that there’s a real threat to the nation’s democracy and majority rule. What’s more, the nation’s top politicians and political parties are more unpopular than popular, and interest in the upcoming November midterms is down — not up. And when Americans were asked to describe where they believe America is today, the top answers were “downhill,” “divisive,” “negative,” “struggling,” “lost” and “bad.” Those are the grim findings of a new national NBC News poll conducted less than 10 months before the midterm elections...[The poll] shows President Joe Biden’s job approval rating remaining in the low 40s, Republicans holding a double-digit edge in enthusiasm and key Democratic groups losing interest in the upcoming election. “There is nothing but flashing red flights and warning signs for Democrats,” said McInturff, the Republican pollster. According to the poll, 72 percent of Americans say the country is headed in the wrong direction — essentially unchanged from the 71 percent who held this view in October’s NBC News poll...“In the three instances when this sustained dark outlook coincided with an election year, it foreshadowed bad news for the party in power — 1992, 2008 and 2016,” said Horwitt, the Democratic pollster.

The NBC News poll finds 47 percent of registered voters saying they prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, while 46 percent want Republicans in charge. That’s essentially unchanged from October, when Democrats held a 2 point edge on this question, 47 percent to 45 percent. But Republicans enjoy a double-digit advance on enthusiasm ahead of November’s elections, with 61 percent of Republicans saying they are very interested in the upcoming midterms — registering their interest either as a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale — compared with 47 percent of Democrats who say the same. In previous midterm cycles — whether 2006, 2010, 2014 or 2018 — the party that held a double-digit advantage in enthusiasm ended up making substantial gains. Additionally, overall enthusiasm for the upcoming midterms is down from 59 percent who indicated a high level of interest in October, to 51 percent in this most recent poll. And some of the biggest drops have come from key segments of the Democratic base, including Black voters, young voters and urban voters.

A virtual tie on the generic ballot, with a large GOP enthusiasm edge, is very bad news for Democrats. So is the whopping 72 percent "wrong track" number, given their total control of Congress and the White House. Republicans aren't exactly popular, as the GOP's general favorability rating is ten points upside down. But the Democratic brand is in worse shape at (-15). And despite Biden's unpopularity, his Vice President's favorables are even worse at (32/49). At his press conference last week, the president said he's "outperformed" all expectations thus far. In the NBC poll, just five percent of voters agree. Five percent. The latest Fox News poll is something of an outlier, in that it shows Biden just five points underwater, with an approval rating significantly better than the polling averages. Even so...yikes


The survey shows Biden at (-6) on COVID, (-13) on foreign policy, (-17) on the economy, and (-22) on border security. Trust in the CDC is split. Over on CBS, a focus group of voters reflected the dour sentiments measured in NBC's nationwide survey. Americans are unhappy campers these days: 


The RNC research crew must have enjoyed curating the Sunday show clips this week. I'll leave you with four additional polling nuggets. (1) Parents fear school closures far more than COVID for their children at this point (yet they sporadically persist in blue areas, with progressives still fighting unscientific masking wars): 


(2) The Arizona Democratic Party has censured Sen. Kyrsten Sinema for refusing to break her word and change her position on the filibuster, with Bernie Sanders et al piling on. The left is also raging at Sen. Joe Manchin, but I suspect he doesn't much care. This comes via a Democratic pollster that often tries to find support for the party line: 


Manchin's net approval rating is 57 points (!) better than Biden's in West Virginia. Maybe Biden should give another speech comparing everyone who disagrees with him to segregationists. (3) On the heels of Friday's March for Life in Washington, American public opinion remains divided on abortion – though the prevailing stance of the Democratic Party and the news media is wildly out of the mainstream: 


Forty-nine percent of Marist respondents fall into the broad 'pro-life' category, while 51 percent are in the broad "pro-choice" camp, effectively an exact tie. But support for banning most abortions after the first trimester of pregnancy skyrockets to 71 percent – including 70 percent of independents, and nearly half of Democrats. The radical Democratic/media position (abortion on demand for any reason at any point of pregnancy) is shared by a paltry 17 percent of Americans. (4) Finally, let's check in on the left's "America is systemically racist" talking point, courtesy of a Pew poll of Hispanics: 


People want to come to the United States because we are a land of opportunity, not a bastion of rotten-to-the-core white supremacy.