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Another Poll Shows Voters Aren't Too Thrilled With Biden's Divisive Speech Demonizing Republican Opponents

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Almost two weeks ago now, President Joe Biden delivered a particularly divisive speech outside of Independence Hall in Philadelphia during which he demonized his Republican opponents, specifically "MAGA Republicans" as "represent[ing] an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic." Although the president has tried to walk back his comments, such an about face hasn't exactly been very believable. Multiple polls now show that the American people aren't too thrilled with that speech, either. 

Shortly after the speech, the Trafalgar Group showed that a majority of respondents, including a majority of Independents, felt it "represents a dangerous escalation in rhetoric and is designed to incite conflict amongst Americans."

On Wednesday, The Hill reported on a poll from Harvard Caps-Harris, which contained numerous damning sections about Biden and his speech. 

The poll, by double digits, found that respondents opposed Biden's speech, by 56 percent to 44 percent. Democrats were the only political party to support the speech, but the 81 percent who supported it means that fewer of them did than the Republicans who opposed it, at 89 percent. Most Independents, 62 percent of them, also opposed the speech. 

The contrast was even more stark when respondents were asked if the speech would "unite the country and help move forward," which only 40 percent said, or "does it divide and hold it back," which 60 percent said. The demographics were similar, in that Democrats were the only political party to say the speech was helpful, but the 75 percent of them who said so is less than 88 percent of Republicans who said it divides it. Again, Independents were not too thrilled, as 68 percent agreed with the response most Republicans also chose.

A majority of respondents, at 54 percent, also said that the speech was "an example of fear mongering and politicking," while 46 percent said "the fears of fascism and the end of American democracy expressed in Biden's speech [are] justified."

When it comes specifically to name-calling, a majority of respondents, at 52 percent, said it was inappropriate for Biden to call former President Donald Trump and his supporters an existential threat to American democracy. Even more respondents, at 56 percent, said it's inappropriate for Biden to label Trump supporters and MAGA Republicans as "semi-fascists." The president used such a label while speaking at a DNC fundraiser last month, the week before the Philadelphia speech.

Respondents didn't seem too thrilled with the tone or the setting, either. By double digits, respondents said it was a "partisan political speech" as opposed to a "presidential policy speech," 56 percent to 44 percent. A majority, at 52 percent, also said that it was inappropriate to give the speech where he did, at a federal building, while 48 percent found it appropriate. 

It's worth reminding that White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during a press briefing claimed the speech was "presidential" rather than political. 

Jean-Pierre and President Biden himself still claim that Biden is unifying the country, a laughable claim, especially considering what multiple polls show. Over half of respondents, at 55 percent, said that Biden's "rhetoric is too heated and he should instead be unifying the country."

The only question that respondents gave Biden's speech favorable remarks on was that a majority of them, at 54 percent, said it was appropriate for him to have Marines behind him, while 46 percent felt it was not. 

Another earlier section of the poll also showed bad news for Biden, specifically as it has to do with his priorities, which have been to attack his political opponents so close before the midterms. 

By double digits, respondents believe that Biden's focus on MAGA Republicans is him "trying to avoid talking about inflation, immigration, crime and other issues," something 59 percent of respondents say. Just 41 percent say he's "fairly raising issues around MAGA Republicans." 

Not only do 81 percent of Republicans and 68 percent of Independents think he's trying to avoid talking about those key issues, but so do a significant 30 percent of Democrats. 

Respondents are also not that worried about the fear of "MAGA Republicans," especially not when it comes to the "Socialist left." By double digits, respondents are more concern about the power the Socialist left is getting, at 55 percent compared to the 45 percent of those more concerned about the power MAGA Republicans are supposedly getting. 

As Madeline highlighted in her VIP piece from Tuesday, there's more bad news for Biden not just this year, but in 2024, as the poll found that 67 percent of respondents do not want Biden to run for another term.

The poll was conducted September 7-8, with 1,854 registered voters. 

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