Joe Biden hit yet another milestone on his confidence-crisis cascade, and still without an end in sight. In a midterm cycle dominated by concerns over the economy and inflation, a new poll shows Biden not only hitting a career low on job approval on the economy, but perhaps an all-time low among American presidents at any stage of their term.
As CNBC notes in its analysis of their All-America Economic Survey, Biden trails Donald Trump’s low-water mark on the economy by double digits, and just surpassed Trump’s worst reading on overall approval as well:
President Joe Biden’s overall and economic approval numbers have reached the lowest levels of his presidency and fallen further than that of either of his two predecessors, according to the latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey.
With Americans feeling crushed beneath the weight of rising prices, Biden’s economic approval dropped 5 points from the prior survey in April to just 30%. The president’s economic record is supported by just 6% of Republicans, 25% of independents and 58% of Democrats, a very low number for his own party.
In comparison, President Donald Trump’s economic approval bottomed out at 41%, and President Barack Obama’s at 37%.
Biden’s approval on his overall handling of the presidency came in at 36%, 1 point lower than Trump’s worst rating. Among survey participants, 57% disapprove of Biden’s handling of the presidency.
CNBC has bad news for Democrats on the generic ballot question too — in fact, they give them a double dose of bad. First off, the CNBC poll has Republicans up two points in a polling question where anything inside of a D+5 result is usually good news for the GOP. But when it comes to voters who are most concerned about inflation and the economy, those numbers shift significantly. How significantly? Watch out:
Respondents who say immigration and border security, jobs, and, most importantly, the cost of living are their top concerns have a decided preference for Republican congressional control. For example, those most worried about jobs, prefer GOP control by a 54% to 31% margin. Those most concerned about the cost of living, prefer GOP congressional control by 47% to 38%. However, abortion ranks as the second-biggest concern, and those respondents prefer Democratic control of congress 67% to 24%.
The generic ballot in December did come back 45/35 for Republicans, but that was an outlier in this series. Two months prior, it was 43/42 Democrats, who also led in August 2021 (47/46) and April 2021 (47/42). The December reaction might have been a response to Afghanistan or to the first shock wave of continuous inflation; it appears that most of the balking previous-Democrat supporters went into the “not sure” category, which hit a series high of 20% in December that surpassed the previous series high of 15% in October 2021.
If this election gets decided on the economy, the turnout suggested by a 54/31 margin on the generic ballot would be brutal for Democrats. It would be an utter disaster, much like the Biden presidency has been for the economy itself.
As for abortion saving Democrats at the ballot box, that seems unlikely even with the issue results in this poll:
Abortion has climbed in intensity at the moment, which is understandable given the sudden nature of the change with Dobbs. Even with the subject at the zenith of media interest, it still falls far below the economy, even without adding “jobs and unemployment” to “cost of living.” In the combo, inflation gets twice as much interest as abortion, and note that “crime” is essentially tied with abortion for second place and immigration is close behind — two issues that don’t play well for Democrats either.
This looks grim indeed, especially in its trend line. Biden has insisted that his problem is simply messaging, but for the last two months the White House has desperately floated one nonsense narrative after another to escape blame for the economy. It looks like the public has no problem seeing past the flatulence from the White House and pinning the tail firmly on the chief jackass.
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