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CBS News Poll: New Low and Bad Vibes For POTUS, as GOP Racks Up New Voter Registrations

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

I come bearing two pieces of bad news for Democrats, one piece of potentially good news. Let's start with the bad news. First, in a new CBS News poll, President Biden remains deeply unpopular, sinking lower in the survey series than ever before. And embedded in the data are numerous morsels of despair for the ruling party, with just over four months to go until a national election. 

Top line, then a few details: 

He's at a woeful (41/59) on overall approval, pulling a glittering 29 percent on inflation. The mood out there is decidedly sour: 

Current assessments of the national economy are getting worse. Just 22% think it's good — down even further from 26% in May — while the percentage saying it's "bad" has gone up to 75% — a new high for the Biden presidency. That is a 12-point rise since April...Majorities of Republicans, independents, and Democrats all rate the economy as bad. The 60% of Democrats who rate the economy bad is notable because it's moving closer to the views of independents and Republicans, even though a president's own party often gives rosier assessments than others...The pandemic had an impact from which many have still not recovered, either. Comparing things back to before it hit, just 13% of Americans say their own family's financial situation is better than it was beforehand, and for four in 10, things are worse.

Biden recently insisted that his policies are helping and working. The public clearly does not concur. More color: "The public says there's plenty of reasons for inflation, a mix of market forces and policies; most say it's because costs for manufacturers and producers have gone up, and they also blame government spending during the pandemic, but most also feel companies are charging more to get higher profits. Relatively fewer, but still a majority, point to President Biden's policies. (Democrats do not.)" Americans rightly see Biden's policies and Democrats' reckless spending as a driving factor of the crisis, with only partisan Democrats disagreeing. Meanwhile, two-thirds of voters are concerned about being able to afford day-to-day items, and three-fourths are worried about the ability to save money. This is all horrible news for the country, and people are really hurting. The party in power to be punished by voters in November, which benefits the GOP, which is arguing for a check on Biden's agenda, stopping inflationary spending, and producing more energy at home. Many voters like the sound of all of that. This is also a welcome development for Republicans: 

A political shift is beginning to take hold across the U.S. as tens of thousands of suburban swing voters who helped fuel the Democratic Party’s gains in recent years are becoming Republicans. More than 1 million voters across 43 states have switched to the Republican Party over the last year, according to voter registration data analyzed by The Associated Press. The previously unreported number reflects a phenomenon that is playing out in virtually every region of the country — Democratic and Republican states along with cities and small towns — in the period since President Joe Biden replaced former President Donald Trump. But nowhere is the shift more pronounced — and dangerous for Democrats — than in the suburbs, where well-educated swing voters who turned against Trump’s Republican Party in recent years appear to be swinging back.

The Trump coalition plus returning suburbanites could be a powerful combination. Democrats will argue that abortion will help blunt this migration, and they might be right in some places. I predicted yesterday that there would be some ugly, but also complicated, polling on abortion in the coming weeks, and that the issue would again rise in prominence. But between the public opinion contradictions on the issue, the country's short attention span, the grinding crush of inflation, and the Democrats' own extremism on abortion, I suspect whatever bump Democrats might experience (much of it fueled by misinformation and fear) will be relatively short-lived. This will be a live debate for years now, with skirmishes playing out in various states. But I don't necessarily see a national game-changer here, partially because there was no national game-changer within a few weeks of the SCOTUS leak, which precipitated a similar explosion of vitriolic discourse. Here was the prediction: 

Sure enough, polling is showing a clear majority against overturning Roe, partially because many people don't know what that actually means. Many of these same people support abortion limits not permitted under the Roe era. NPR's pollster finds a surge for Democrats on the generic 2022 ballot, which some people are heralding as a sea change. Except, as Allahpundit points out, Dems already had a sizable lead in this polling series last month, which was a striking outlier (as was another recent, rosy Democratic outcome in the NPR poll last year, which quickly went belly-up). We'll see. I'll leave you with Howie Kurtz's assessment of the media's Dobbs coverage, which is very hard to argue with: 

They're hardcore activists on this issue, emoting and spinning and agitating as if they work directly for the abortion lobby. Indirectly, they do, so they're pulling out all the stops. 


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