Slidin' Biden in the ivy: Harvard/CAPS approval drops to new-low 39%

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Consider this yet another signpost of a president in desperate search of a polling floor. Like almost all of Joe Biden’s recent results, the latest Harvard/CAPS poll puts his job approval in double-digit negative territory. And in a trend that has become more frequent, Biden has broken through the 40% floor for overall approval, too:

President Biden’s approval rating hit a new low in the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll as the White House faces crises on multiple fronts.

Biden’s approval rating fell to 39 percent in the poll, which was released exclusively to The Hill. Of that, 18 percent of registered voters said they strongly approve of the job he’s doing, while 21 percent say they somewhat approve. Meanwhile, 53 percent said they somewhat or strongly disapprove of his job performance.

That number is six points down from his approval rating in November, when he was at 45 percent, while his disapproval rating ticked up from 51 percent two months ago. His 39 percent approval rating is the lowest since the poll first started gauging it in March.

It’s as if Biden’s doing the Limbo Rock — how low can you go? We’ll have more on that in a moment, but first let’s check out some of the results on issues and the demos in this survey. Biden’s flopping on all counts, but the economy is certainly not an “asset,” as he sarcastically observed yesterday while calling Peter Doocy a “dumb son of a bitch.”  The right/wrong track on the economy in general is presently 29/62, while Biden only gets a 35/58 approval rating on the issue.

That’s a midrange result on the issues polled by Harvard/CAPS, as it turns out. On no issue does Biden achieve even a plurality of approval. His best issue, in fact, is on COVID-19, where he scores 44/50. His worst is on inflation (31/61), followed closely by Afghanistan (30/58). Biden gets a majority disapproval on every single issue, while only scoring at or above 40% approval on three issues: the aforementioned COVID response, stimulating jobs (41/51) and government administration (40/53).

The demos on job approval are simply brutal, as one might imagine from the topline result. The gender gap has entirely disappeared, with men (41/55) and women (38/52) showing an identical 14-point negative net. Biden manages to remain barely above water with 18-34YOs (48/38) and 35-49YOs (48/45), but sinks deeply among 50-64YOs (29/66) and seniors (33/65), more reliable voting demos, especially in midterms.

The ethnic demos are a mixed bag, but not terribly encouraging. Unlike some other polling, Harvard/CAPS shows a plurality of Hispanics still supporting Biden (49/43), but black voters aren’t landing in an expected lockstep behind Biden (58/29). That’s very weak sauce from a demo that is usually much more united and it sends up red flags for Democrats looking at an already-difficult midterm cycle. Perhaps even more worrisome than that is Biden’s 44/54 among college graduates and post-grads, a signal that even the elites are seeking distance from Biden’s stench.

And then there are the locale demos:

  • Urban: 59/35
  • Suburban: 35/58
  • Rural: 24/68

Imagine being a suburban House Democrat running for re-election in this environment, and you begin to understand why almost 30 of them have opted for retirement instead. So far.

Let’s finish up with an earlier question: how low can Biden go? It’s tough to imagine he can go much lower than where he’s at on the RCP aggregate chart, but … who would have imagined a Democratic president with a sympathetic-nigh-unto-sycophantic media dropping down this far?