The Democrats thought that all their political woes of 2022 were solved after the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Not only did generic ballot polling tighten, but Joe Biden’s approval ratings recovered slightly.
But, sadly for him, his approval ratings recovery — which wasn’t much to begin with — was short-lived.
According to a poll conducted by Morning Consult and Politico, Biden’s already low job approval took a large dive this past week.
According to the survey, only 41% of Americans approve of Biden’s job performance, while 56% are unhappy, Over 2,000 registered voters were surveyed between September 23 and 25 for the poll, which has a margin of error of +/- 2%.
While this sounds pretty much on the nose for Biden’s approval ratings as of late, it’s actually a significant decline from the previously Morning Consult/Politico poll, which, Politico notes, is “down from 46 percent in last week’s poll — which had represented Biden’s 2022 high-water mark.”
“A plurality of voters also did not approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, jobs, healthcare, immigration, climate change and a host of other policy areas surveyed in the poll,” notes Politico. “The economy was the top issue among 44 percent of voters (the highest of any issue in the poll), and 61 percent disapproved of Biden’s handling of the economy.”
With the 2022 midterm elections looming, this is the worst time for Biden’s approval ratings to slip, considering how the president’s party’s performance in midterm elections is very much tied to the president’s approval ratings.
There was a strong consensus among respondents that Biden should not seek the presidency again in 2024.
“If Biden didn’t run, Vice President Kamala Harris was the favorite out of a list of 12 potential Democratic primary contenders, with 26 percent support among Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning independents,” Politico points out. “In second place was Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, winning 13 percent support. Fully a quarter of Democrats were undecided.”
Biden’s ratings are likely to get even worse. Gas prices on the West Coast are starting to spike again, going up 60 cents a gallon over a week’s time. Supply constraints are cited as the main cause — not Hurricane Ian. And there’s still plenty of reason to believe gas prices will continue to rise elsewhere in the country. As PJM’s Rick Moran noted over the summer, experts predicted that gas prices were expected to rise again and possibly hit record highs before the election.
The decline in gas prices had to hit a floor sometime, and it sure looks like the timing is matching up with what was predicted months ago. Meanwhile, the Strategic Petroleum Reserves are now at crisis levels, and we have to restock that as well, which won’t do Biden any favors — especially since he effectively took ownership of declining gas prices for the past couple of months.
In all likelihood, Biden has used up all the gimmicks in his arsenal to boost Democrat turnout. Even his student debt forgiveness plan didn’t work out as planned. And he hasn’t helped himself with his gaffes and misstatements, like declaring the pandemic was over, only to have the White House scramble to walk it back.
Back in May, former Bill Clinton pollster Doug Sosnik argued that the fate of the Democrats in the 2022 midterms was all but sealed.
“If past elections are any indicator, we are heading into the final stage of the election period when voters are beginning to lock in on their views of the state of the country and their expectations for the future,” Sosnick said. “It is during this period – and not the final days of an election – that the public settles in how they are going to vote.”
It looks like what we’re seeing now is polling that has started to reflect just that.