Not even a year into his presidency, Joe Biden is heading for the bottom.
A Quinnipiac poll released Thursday shows the president scoring his lowest approval rating yet in an administration that seems to sink lower by the day.
And even that 36 percent approval rating is almost certainly hiding even worse news.
The survey of 1,378 adults found Biden underwater with Republicans — as can be expected: 94 percent disapprove versus only 4 percent who approve. (It’d be interesting to know where they found that 4 percent. Perhaps calling the Lincoln Project’s offices?)
Among Democrats, the situation is almost reversed, with 87 percent approving and only 7 percent disapproving. (As Mark Twain is said to have said, “It’s easier to fool people than convince them they’ve been fooled.”)
But with independent voters — the kind who actually swing elections — Biden’s out of favor by an almost two to one margin. Fifty-six percent disapprove versus 29 percent who approve, the poll found.
The poll’s 2.6 percent margin of error won’t make a dent in a difference like that.
For a president and his political party, that’s a disaster by any accounting. And the numbers are even worse than they look.
First, the poll was conducted Nov. 11-15, according to Quinnipiac. That means it came in the week after Biden’s infrastructure bill passed Congress, with the unfortunate assistance of 13 House Republicans in liberal-friendly congressional districts.
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That’s a fairly strong sign that Biden’s approach isn’t going to start picking up support among Americans who Democrats think are just frustrated that his agenda is going through some rough times in the Capitol.
Second, considering that, whatever their faults, the majority of Democrats are in all likelihood reasonably sentient human beings who have to be able to see with their own eyes what a hash the Biden team is actually making of the job (very much including Vice President Kamala Harris), it’s a good bet that a large part of that 87 percent approval rating comes from Biden voters who simply don’t want to admit how wrong they actually were.
But the biggest reason that even that dismal 36 percent support is likely inflated is that the numbers are reflecting the public image of an administration that has received nothing but support from the mainstream media since long before Biden was sworn into office.
By contrast, by November 2017, Trump had been subjected to relentless attacks from virtually every mainstream media outlet in the country and the biggest stars in Hollywood while, of course, skewered nightly by “comics”-turned-commentators.
It’s hardly surprising, under the circumstances, that Trump’s approval rating was 35 percent, according to Quinnipiac’s polling at the time, with independents going against him by 63 percent to 31 percent.
In other words, Biden is standing only a point higher than Trump, despite the slavish backing of a near-monolithic mainstream media and entertainment establishment.
Since what people say they think could well be influenced by what they think is popular among others, Biden’s actual approval could well be even lower than the poll indicates.
That does not bode well for the Democrat in the White House or his party — with its tenuous hold on power in the House of Representatives by less than a handful of seats, and control over a tied Senate only by virtue of a vice president whose approval ratings are even lower than Biden’s.
And the Quinnipiac numbers bear that out. According to the poll released Thursday, Democratic control of Congress is in serious jeopardy in next year’s midterms.
While partisans polled supported their parties (of course), independents who gave an opinion favored a Republican takeover of the House by 41-31 percent. They favored the GOP in the Senate by a similar 44-34 percent.
A fairly large segment of those polled didn’t give an opinion on control of Congress (28 percent for the House, 22 percent for the Senate), but that should be cold comfort to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who have to be preparing for a return to minority life. (Or, in Pelosi’s case, since she hasn’t confirmed she plans to run for re-election again, a return to civilian life in her San Francisco manse and its extravagant ice cream freezer.)
If Republicans do take over Congress in the midterms, the Biden administration’s public image problems now are going to look like the good old days.
There will be a reckoning.
A betting man would happily put down money on impeachment in the House. Biden’s deliberate failure to enforce the law when it comes to illegal immigration alone would justify it (unlike the Trump impeachments).
A real investigation of the president’s ties to his son Hunter’s business dealings is also long overdue, and something House and Senate committees armed with subpoena powers would no doubt be interested in pursuing.
The betrayals and disaster in Afghanistan, the continuing politicization of the Justice Department under Attorney General Merrick Garland and the FBI’s pursuit of American parents trying to protect their children — while possibly not impeachment material — are just a few other areas where Biden and his team are undeniably vulnerable.
Biden’s dismal poll numbers prove even the might of the mainstream media isn’t enough to prop up a self-evidently failing presidency now.
They almost certainly won’t be able to protect him then.
Less than a year into his presidency, Biden is already heading for the bottom. He should be praying he’s reached it, because there’s still a long way down.