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Biden's Popularity is Down in Wisconsin. Will That Affect 2022 Governor's Race?

AP Photo/Scott Bauer

President Joe Biden is seeing his approval ratings drop nationally as well as in several states throughout the country, including in Virginia where Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe was defeated on Tuesday night by Republican Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin. Biden had campaigned in Virginia on behalf of McAuliffe at least twice. Biden's popularity ratings are down in the swing state of Wisconsin. And, sure enough, so are those of Gov. Tony Evers, who is up for re-election in 2022.

The Marquette University Law School released a poll on Wednesday that found Biden's approval rating at 43 percent, while 53 percent disapprove. A write-up from Craig Gilbert with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted that the president's approval rating in the state was 49 percent in August.

Biden won Wisconsin by just 49.5 percent to former President Donald Trump's 48.8 percent, a difference of 20,608 votes. Gilbert notes in his write-up that in this poll he is still poised to beat Trump in a 2024 hypothetical match-up, 45 to 41 percent, with 11 percent saying "neither."

Gov. Evers, who defeated former Gov. Scott Walker by 49.5 percent to 48.4 percent, is running for re-election next year. While Evers had a 50 percent approval rating in August, it's now at 45 percent. Just 40 percent said they would re-elect him, while 53 percent chose "someone else."

It's particularly noteworthy that Gilbert wrote it's "the first time in 17 Marquette polls that Evers has not had a positive approval rating."

Walker's lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, has announced she is running as a Republican against Evers next year. Madeline spoke with her in September about her campaign, around the time she announced. 

As I reported last month, Trump has another idea about who should run as a Republican, namely former Rep. Sean Duffy. 

As one of the few off-year statewide elections, Virginia is considered a bell weather and a referendum on the president who was elected just the year before. In electing a new Republican governor with a Democratic president in office, Virginians followed the course of history, as the commonwealth has elected the governor of the opposing party of the president each time. 

An exception, ironically, was when McAuliffe beat that trend in 2013, after former President Barack Obama won re-election in 2012. Even then, McAuliffe failed to win with a majority of the vote, as he beat Republican Ken Cuccinelli by 47.8 percent to 45.2 percent. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis received 6.5 percent of the vote.

Last month, Larry Sabato noted during "CNN Newsroom" that it was "not easy" what McAuliffe was trying to do in achieving being the exception twice. Sabato on Monday had changed his prediction of the race for Sabato's Crystal Ball with University of Virginia Center for Politics to "Leans Republican," as Spencer reported.

In between Biden's two campaign visits, McAuliffe admitted that Biden was unpopular in the commonwealth. Yet Townhall was present at McAuliffe's event last month when the Democratic candidate told reporters that the president would return to Virginia. 

President Biden is in particular facing a referendum. And, as Leah reminded this morning, Vice President Kamala Harris, as yet another major Democratic figure coming to campaign for McAuliffe, had said that "What happens in Virginia will in large part determine what happens in 2022, 2024, and on."


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