Doom: Biden's job approval among independents slides to 28% in new Quinnipiac poll

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Remember the ugly, outlier-ish poll Quinnipiac published two weeks ago finding Biden’s approval rating slipping to 38 percent overall and to 32 percent with independents?

Per today’s update, he’s *lost* ground since then.

We’re in a strange upside-down world all of a sudden in which a Democratic president is polling slightly better in right-leaning Rasmussen’s surveys (42/56) than he is in Quinnipiac’s (37/52), which traditionally has had rotten numbers for Republicans. Partly that’s a function of the sample screens each pollster uses, with Quinnipiac polling adults and Rasmussen focused on likely voters.

But even so, 28 percent approval among adult independents in today’s data is a gruesome, almost unfathomable number for a president whose average approval rating was 50 percent just two months ago. Terry McAuliffe’s going to start thinking about seppuku when he sees this:

By a margin of nearly 20 points, independents thought they were better off a year ago under Trump, pre-vaccine, than they are right now under Biden. And not just indies. Hispanics say the same thing by a margin of 42/50. In fact, Biden’s job approval among Hispanics has slumped to 33/51. He won Latinos by 33 points last year!

He’s so widely disliked at the moment that he’s less popular than … Donald Trump. By a fair amount among independents, in fact — Trump has a 38/49 favorability in that group versus 28/57 for Biden. But Hispanics also like Trump slightly more than they like Biden, 38/49 versus 36/49. A twice-impeached one-termer is viewed more warmly after nine months than the guy who was elected to replace him.

Which seems inauspicious for Dems in the midterms.

Quinnipiac’s poll *is* a bit of an outlier from the RCP average, but only a bit. In fact, the two have nearly identical disapproval ratings for Biden:

That black line was sloping downward for weeks before the fiasco in Kabul in mid-August but that made the slope steeper. Biden leveled off at around 45-46 percent in early September but his announcement of the federal vaccine mandate and some alarming economic indicators about jobs and inflation have kept up the downward pressure. The conventional wisdom on the left is that he’ll get a bounce of some magnitude once Democrats hammer things out on infrastructure, but I’m skeptical. COVID and immigration are nearly as important to Americans in Quinnipiac’s poll as the economy is. In fact, opposition to building the border wall has dropped to its lowest point in five years of polling, 49 percent. There’s no way out of the immigration trap for Biden: If he seals the border liberals will be enraged and if he doesn’t everyone else will be.

He does have one thing going for him, though: Donald J. Trump. Although Trump is now as popular as he is, he’s still widely unpopular. To the extent Dems can frame the midterms as a choice between Biden and Trump instead of Biden and Republicans generally, they may be able to cut their losses.

Nearly one year after the 2020 presidential election, a majority of Americans (58 – 35 percent) say they do not want to see Donald Trump run for president in 2024, according to a Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pea-ack) University national poll of adults released today. Democrats say 94 – 4 percent and independents say 58 – 35 percent that they do not want to see Trump run…

Just over half of Americans (51 percent) say Trump has had a mainly negative impact on American politics, while 41 percent say he has had a mainly positive impact on American politics…

About half of Americans (51 percent) think Donald Trump has been undermining democracy since the 2020 presidential election, while 39 percent think he has been protecting democracy.

There’s an easy way for Republicans to disarm Democrats’ coming attacks — just move on from Trump. But righties don’t want to. Seventy-eight percent(!) said they want him to run again in 2024 and 84 percent think he’s made a positive impact on American politics. Even more, 85 percent, think he’s been “protecting democracy” since last year’s election, which I assume is code for believing that the election was rigged and therefore Trump is justified in looking for ways to somehow undo it. That attitude has bled over into their views of the insurrection too, with 66 percent of Republicans claiming that the January 6 riot wasn’t an attack on the government. How could it have been if you believe that the rightful government was the one led by a duly elected but cheated Trump?

Now we sit back and wait two weeks as suspense builds. Is the Trump-hating Democratic majority in Virginia big enough that it can drag McAuliffe over the finish line despite widespread fear and loathing of Biden among independents, even with Trump on the sidelines for the time being? I’ll leave you with this.