• December 1, 2021

What’s behind Biden’s declining approval rating?

Last week, President Biden’s agenda took a big step forward with the overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of the US Senate to pass its $ 1.1 trillion infrastructure package. This first step towards an agreement: the House of Representatives still must pass it – It couldn’t come at a better time for Biden either, as the delta variant of the coronavirus has led to a surge in cases, throwing much of the Economic recovery of the last months in danger. There is also the collapse of the government of Afghanistan Now Biden must grapple as he oversees the withdrawal of US military presences from the country.

It’s too early to know how Biden’s handling of Afghanistan will affect his approval rating, but approval of his handling of the pandemic, which has hovered around 60 for much of his presidency, has already taken a hit. Only now 55 percent of Americans approve of the work he’s doing, according to FiveThirtyEight’s coronavirus presidential approval tracker.

This slowdown in how Americans believe Biden is handling the pandemic also appears to be at least somewhat related to the recent decline in his overall approval rating, which has dropped to around 50 percent on the presidential approval tracker from FiveThirtyEight, the lowest point so far in his eight months in office.

What to do with Biden’s job approval down?

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Well, the first thing to note is that Biden’s recent approval drop is still relatively small, as his average approval rating has dropped from around 52 percent over the course of July to 50 percent now. . And that’s not that unusual given our current hyperpolarized political environment; The president’s views are now largely integrated, so that a president’s ratings tend to oscillate within a narrow range of results. We don’t know the range in which Biden’s approval will ultimately settle, but if the past two presidents are any indication, it will be a narrow one: Donald Trump’s approval remained mostly between 40 and 45 percent during his presidency. , while Barack Obama’s approval tended to fall between 45 and 50 percent. In that sense, Biden’s current approval rating is perfectly normal.

It is also possible that this current decline is temporary, given the role of the delta variant has played in driving Biden’s overall numbers were down. Biden’s approval of the coronavirus handling has seen the biggest decline in recent weeks, though his numbers on some other issues have also dropped slightly. To be clear, it continues to perform better on COVID-19 than it does on other topics, such as crime and immigration. But among Republicans and independents, where this has been one of their strongest problems, their approval has been particularly affected in recent weeks. Since mid-July, their coronavirus approval numbers among independents have dropped from 50 to 50, and among Republicans, their numbers have dropped from 30 to 20. (Democrats’ attitudes about Biden’s handling coronavirus rates have dropped a bit, from the low 90s to the high 80s).

That said, there are also some reasons to think that this slippage in Biden’s overall approval rating might not be a problem.

The main reason is that independents may be mad at Biden – and it’s unclear if it’s just his handling of the coronavirus that drives him. Biden’s ratings among independents have fallen in recent weeks: A sample of polls conducted since early July by Morning Consult, The Economist / YouGov, and Ipsos suggests that Biden’s approval of this group has fallen by an average of 2 to 4 percentage points in recent weeks. But Biden had already been slowly losing ground among independents. For example, Biden’s approval among independent voters in Morning Consult polls has been on a downward trend since he took office, from around 50 to 40. That’s a very slow decline over the last eight months. , but it is also a trend prior to the increase in US cases of the delta variant.

It is also possible that concerns about the economy have played a role in Biden’s decline. Recent polls suggest that Americans are particularly concerned about inflation, for example that has skyrocketed in recent months. In fact, about a third of registered voters cited inflation as their main economic concern in early August. The Hill / HarrisX survey, and 86 percent of Americans said CNBC / Hart Research / Public Opinion Strategies By the end of July, they had taken at least one action to combat rising prices, such as reducing their spending on discretionary items or saving less money. Biden’s approval of his handling of the economy has also dropped slightly in recent polls, including one Fox News poll last week who found approval of his handling of the economy at 47 percent, below 51 percent in June.

Now, it is true that these economic concerns are, at least in part, linked to the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, but there are also some indications that Americans may be increasingly wary of large government spending. At the end of July Political Poll / Morning Consult found, for example, that slightly more registered voters (59 percent) thought the policies of the Biden administration were much or somewhat responsible for the 13-year high in inflation than America’s return to pre-pandemic behaviors (53 percent). While Republicans were the main driver of this difference (82 percent blamed the administration compared to 39 percent who blamed the reopening process), independents were also more likely to say that Biden’s team policies they were responsible, 58 percent versus 47 percent.

However, this is not to say that Biden’s policies are unpopular. The stimulus package for the coronavirus it happened in march it had the support of about two-thirds of Americans. And that recent Fox News poll found that 62 percent of registered voters also supported the bipartisan infrastructure deal, and 56 percent even said they supported Democrats. $ 3.5 billion spending plan still in progress.

Still, Democrats’ spending plans risk sparking a backlash, as FiveThirtyEight contributor Daniel Cox argued in May. Cox noted that last September a record proportion of Americans (54 percent) told Gallup the government should do more to solve the country’s problems, compared to 41 percent of Americans who felt the government was doing too much. But now a more recent poll suggests that support for government intervention has already waned. Only 44 percent told Fox News that they preferred to have the federal government “give them a hand,” compared to 57 percent who said the same in August 2020.

It’s also possible that the situation in Afghanistan could further affect Biden’s approval ratings; it’s too early to tell at this point. But if the decline in Biden’s approval is primarily related to reactions to the increased delta variant, which could decrease in no time, that could point to a possible ray of light for Biden. On the other hand, there could be more substantial and lasting cracks in his support, perhaps linked to the large spending patterns of his administration.

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