A devastating result on core voter priorities, and this isn’t the most unfriendly polling series to Joe Biden and Democrats, either. Even with the results on inflation landing squarely on Biden, his job approval numbers actually went up slightly in the latest iteration of the Fox Business poll. Last month, Biden got a series-low 44/54, but in December it’s rebounded a bit to 47/51 among registered voters. That’s better than his RCP average of 44/50.5, which includes this poll in the aggregation.
The rest of this poll is a disaster, though, especially on the generic ballot question:
A new Fox Business poll finds that when it comes to rising prices, twice as many think the Biden administration’s actions are hurting rather than helping.
In addition, by a 25-point margin, voters believe President Biden’s proposed social spending plan would push inflation higher and by 6 points they think it would hurt the economy.
“One thing the president has going for him is low expectations,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who along with Republican counterpart Daron Shaw, conducts Fox polls. “If the spending plans start to have positive impacts in people’s lives, maybe some will reconsider their view of Biden.”
About 4 in 10 say inflation is the biggest issue facing the economy. That’s more than double the number who say the deficit or income inequality. Fewer than 1 in 10 say supply chain issues, labor shortages, government regulations, or big tech monopolies.
Not coincidentally, Biden’s only getting a 38/59 on the economy, the largest gap in this series of his presidency. As recently as September, Biden was at 50/49, so it’s clear that inflation has added to Biden’s confidence-crisis cascade.. The link has lots of slides, but I’ll capture most of those in bullet points instead:
- Biden’s impact on inflation: 47/22 on hurting/helping, 28% no difference
- BBB impact on inflation: 46/21 raise/lower inflation, 28% no difference
- BBB impact on overall economy: 42/36 hurt/help, 19% no difference
And this becomes even more important when we see just how focused voters are on inflation. By a wide margin, a plurality of 36% cite inflation as the top economic issue facing the nation. The next biggest issue comes in 20 points lower at 16%, and that’s “government spending/deficit,” both of which implicate Biden’s spending habits and the BBB. Income inequality comes in a distant third at 13%, which makes the White House and progressive messaging a huge mismatch to the electorate at the moment.
How big of a mismatch? This big:
Two-thirds of the electorate are feeling the pain from inflation, while the White House keeps treating it like an “opportunity,” or claiming that it doesn’t impact anyone but the wealthy. Nearly three in ten (29%) characterize it as a “serious” hardship. The demos on this question are notable, too:
- Women overall: 67% hardship, 31% “serious”
- Non-white women: 70%, 38%
- Black voters: 56%, 31%
- Hispanic: 81%(!), 41%
- Under $50K income: 75%, 38%
- Dems: 56%, 24%
- GOP: 76%, 32%
- Independents: 69%, 32%
- Urban: 71%, 38%
Needless to say, this hardly supports the spin at the White House that inflation isn’t a real problem or that Republicans are only complaining about it for political gain. They’re responding to voters concerns and priorities, which Democrats seem determined to ignore as inconvenient to their agenda.
Finally, this could be worse for Democrats, but it’s bad enough as it is:
Again, this isn’t the worst generic ballot result Democrats have seen lately, but it ain’t good either. RCP has the spread almost identical at 38/42, but don’t forget that structural reasons around the polling require Democrats to have a substantial lead in order to expect midterm success. This is a recipe for a red wave, albeit not with the same amplitude as polls such as WaPo/ABC and CNBC showing double-digit GOP leads. The overall trend shows voters disconnecting from Biden and Democrats as Democrats make it clear that they don’t really want to listen to their concerns.