Joe Biden’s Approval Rating is Dropping, Even in the Bluest of States
19:17 GMT 02.05.2022 (Updated: 13:29 GMT 06.08.2022)
© AP Photo / Ted S. WarrenPresident Joe Biden gestures as he speaks Friday, April 22, 2022, at Green River College in Auburn, Wash., south of Seattle.
© AP Photo / Ted S. Warren
As Democrats start preparing for November’s midterm elections, the president’s growing unpopularity is becoming a concern. The Dems hold a slim majority in the House and a split Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris holding the tie-breaker.
A poll by Suffolk University and The Boston Globe released Sunday shows that only 46% of registered voters in Massachusetts approve of the job the president is doing. Meanwhile, roughly the same percentage of respondents say they disapprove of Biden’s performance.
While Biden remains popular with state Democrats, 75% approve of his job performance, things look dire among other voters in the state. Only 39% of voters not registered to either party gave the stamp of approval to Biden while more than half, 52%, say that he is doing an unsatisfactory job.
Independent voters make up the largest voting bloc in Massachusetts, according to the newspaper.
While Biden is unlikely to lose the state if he runs in 2024, he defeated Trump by more than 33 points in 2020, if Biden is struggling to keep his head above water in Massachusetts, then he will likely have trouble elsewhere, not to mention how his party fares in November.
“When independents in Massachusetts are that negative on an incumbent Democratic president who won this state going away, one wonders what an independent swing-state voter in Ohio, Nevada, or New Hampshire is thinking”, David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk Research Center, told The Boston Globe. “It poses a real challenge for the midterm elections for Democrats”.
The poll, which has a margin of error of 3.5%, is another in a long run of polls that showcase Biden’s waning popularity, particularly with young voters. In Massachusetts, only 37% of voters 35 or younger approve of the president, which is in line with recent nationwide polls that have him between 37% and 41%.
Fellow Democrats have been urging the president to do something to appeal to voters before the November midterms. Last month, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren penned an op-ed warning in The New York Times that “Democrats need to deliver more of the president’s agenda — or else we will not be in the majority much longer”.
Biden has failed to pass his agenda despite his party holding both houses of Congress. Build Back Better died after failing to get support from more conservative Democrats. Biden also neglected to raise the minimum wage, blaming the Senate parliamentarian’s suggestion that it not be included in the American Rescue Plan. A minimum wage increase has not been pushed in Congress since.
Another big campaign promise that remains popular with young voters is canceling student debt. Biden promised to cancel $10,000 of debt immediately after taking office, but like the minimum wage and the Build Back Better legislation, it has stalled, but unlike them, it does not appear to be dead yet. Last week, Biden said he is “taking a hard look” at forgiving student debt, but whether he can do it through an executive order rather than through Congress is a matter of open debate.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, urged the president to do something to appeal to young voters before the midterm elections. “This is really about young people, the Democratic base, feeling like they worked overtime to get this president elected and they aren’t necessarily being seen”.
The party of the president historically struggles during midterm elections. That trend is amplified when the president is unpopular. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi disagrees, saying that she doesn’t “have any intention of the Democrats losing Congress in November”.
Pelosi might not be worried, but the polls, both nationwide and in traditional Democratic strongholds, may give even the most optimistic Dems pause.