36%: Has Biden's polling hit rock bottom?

36%: Has Biden's polling hit rock bottom?
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

He’s got to be close to his floor, no? A third of this country will support anything with a “D” label slapped on it, just as a third (well, more like 43 percent) will support anything with an “R” slapped on it. At some point Biden will have shed every last Dem who isn’t “ride or die” with the party and that’s as low as he’ll go, even if gas hits 15 bucks a gallon.


I think. If there’s any issue that could punch through a politician’s hypothetical polling floor and cause a “China syndrome” for his party, it’s inflation.

Biden’s approval is still a nose above 38 percent in the RCP average but this new Monmouth survey is the third in the past two weeks to have him in the 35-36 percent range, well into “Biblical disaster” midterm territory for Dems. Losing the House is a foregone conclusion. Losing the Senate gets likelier by the day.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this may be the worst poll for a ruling party that I’ve ever seen. Some of the numbers on the economy almost defy belief. Look at these trends:

The right track/wrong track number must be the worst since the financial crisis of late 2008:

In fact, a different poll out today from YouGov confirms that not only are Americans more pessimistic about the economy than at any point since the financial crisis, they’re more pessimistic than they ever were during the wave of shutdowns at the start of the pandemic:

A year ago, when Monmouth asked Americans whether the middle class has benefited from Biden’s economic policies, 36 percent answered “not at all.” Today, 54 percent do.


How does any endangered Democrat in this country win in November when a majority of the public thinks the administration hasn’t helped the middle class “at all”?

I saw a piece this morning touting how much money centrist Dem Elissa Slotkin raised for her race in Michigan this past quarter and had to laugh. Slotkin has twice won election in a Republican-leaning district, an impressive trick in this era and a testament to how carefully she’s built her moderate brand. But how can she survive this cycle running in a new R+5 district when public opinion on the economy is as sour as it is? You could give her $100 million to run on and she’s still a goner, no?

Here’s her new campaign ad, in which her party affiliation goes scrupulously unmentioned. There’s even a photo of her with George W. Bush, for cripes sake.

There might not be a Democrat in America willing to mention which party they belong to in campaign ads this fall unless they’re running in a D+20 district or higher.

Incidentally, a Republican internal poll of Slotkin’s district conducted a few weeks ago found her trailing her Republican opponent by two points, a remarkable degree of overperformance given that the GOP led by 11 on the generic ballot there and Biden’s approval stood at 36/63. If Slotkin ends up somehow winning this race, the Dems might as well run her for president in 2024.


It’s not like they have anyone more electable sitting on the bench.

Let’s do one more “Dem doom” poll while we’re on the subject. Axios recently conducted a survey on immigration among Hispanics, a group that’s been hemorrhaging support for Biden for many months. Do you prefer Trump’s policy of keeping Title 42 in place so that illegals can be immediately dumped in Mexico, Axios asked, or do you prefer Biden’s policy of admitting illegals while their immigration case is adjudicated? The coup de grace:

51% of the 1,018 U.S. Latino adults surveyed said they strongly supported or somewhat supported keeping Title 42 in place, compared to 44% who said they opposed it.

The policy has majority support among Mexican Americans (52%), Puerto Ricans (57%), and Cuban Americans (53%).

Only 41% of Central Americans supported Title 42. The policy primarily affects Central American migrants seeking entry into the U.S.

Just 48% of Latino immigrants endorsed the policy, but support for it went up among second-generation (58%) and third-generation (59%) Latinos.

Even 42 percent of Hispanic Democrats preferred keeping Title 42 in place. If America were gerrymandered in 2022 to the same extent as it was in 2010, I wonder if House Republicans would be looking at something like an 80-seat pick-up this fall. Because the country is more politically sorted by geography now, I suppose 40 seats or so will have to do.


I’ll leave you with this bit of data from Monmouth, which Ed posted earlier. Note that the top four issues here are all permutations of the same problem, the rising cost of living, and that the combined total of 63 percent dwarfs abortion. Dobbs isn’t going to be the deus ex machina Democrats hoped for. Not unless red states go much further in trying to regulate abortion than they already have.

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Jazz Shaw 3:01 PM on September 21, 2023