Econ/YouGov: Biden approval still heading south

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The supposed bounce Joe Biden expects in polling still looks like that of the dead-cat variety. The trendlines all look bad for Biden in the latest Economist/YouGov tracking poll, putting his job approval at only 42%, a net -9. That’s hardly the only bad news for Biden in this poll, too:


Biden had actually bounced back a bit from his previous low two weeks ago (43/51) by coming back to a net -5 last week (44/49). This week’s 42/51 is his worst yet in the Econ/YouGov series, which had provided Biden with net-positive ratings on job approval until mid-August — as the disgraceful debacle and abandonment of Americans in Afghanistan took place. Ever since, the gap on job approval has kept moving more negative.

The demos are showing the same erosion — even those most favorable to Biden. Job approval among Democrats is 82/12, but that’s been declining ever since a 90/7 result at the beginning of July. Biden now stands at 30/59 among independents, a sharp decline since a 39/49 result at the end of July. Perhaps most tellingly, Biden’s approval among women has dropped to 48/44, nearly a virtual tie, down from 52/41 at the end of August.

The most worrisome demos for Democrats in the upcoming midterms, however, are the ethnic demos. Biden still is popular among black Americans, but not nearly as popular as he once was and as Democrats need him to be. His current job approval rating among blacks is 61/27, down from 74/13 at the end of August. Among Hispanic Americans, Biden only gets 47/43, down from a peak of 67/27 in May and 53/34 at the end of August.

These numbers signify a sharp erosion among Biden’s base, not merely a hardening among the opposition party. That’s very bad news for Democrats first in Virginia, where black and Hispanic voters are crucial to keeping the governor’s office in their hands, and then in next year’s midterms if those numbers don’t significantly improve. It’s almost certainly too late for that to help in Virginia upcoming election in two-plus weeks, and Terry McAuliffe’s terrible performance as a candidate doesn’t give those voters much to stoke their enthusiasm for this election cycle.


Speaking of enthusiasm, take a look at the direction trend in this series:

That’s a very bad sign for Biden and for Democrats. While it doesn’t have the same sharp inflection in late August correlating to the Afghanistan withdrawal — that seems to be sticking to Biden personally rather than the US — the slide clearly accelerated in late July and August. And just as clearly, it’s not getting better, but worse instead.

This latest result on job approval gives us this look at Biden’s “bounce” at RCP:

This presents more evidence that we are seeing a confidence-crisis cascade. But it could be worse — RCP could have included the latest Zogby poll in its calculations. The Zogby series is erratic enough to be used only for entertainment purposes, but FWIW, it’s not looking good for Biden either:

Our latest polling shows President Biden with a 36% positive job performance rating (excellent-15% and good-21% combined), while his negative rating is 61% (fair-19% and poor-42% combined).

Biden is only receiving decent marks from his political base’s most ardent supporters: Democrats (68% positive/30% negative), Liberals (69% positive/30% negative), urban voters (52% positive/46% negative) and African Americans (56% positive/41% negative) were the only groups to give him a majority positive rating.

He is getting hammered by all age groups, including younger voters aged 18-29 (34% positive/63% negative), women (32% positive/65% negative), suburban voters (32% positive/65% negative), Hispanics (41% positive/59% negative), Independents (24% positive/71% negative), suburban women (29% positive/67% negative), and urban women (43% positive/53% negative).


This is clearly an outlier, as no other national poll has put Biden below 40% job approval. Yet.

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David Strom 7:00 AM | May 18, 2024