Quinnipiac Poll: Majority says Biden administration not competent, his poll numbers aren't bouncing back

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

A Quinnipiac Poll released today has nothing but bad news for Joe Biden. Let’s start with the overall approval number which shows Biden at a new low of 38 percent. With disapproval at 53%, that puts the president 15% underwater. His approval is also down sharply from just three weeks ago.

That’s down from 42% three weeks ago and from a high of 50% in mid-February.

“Battered on trust, doubted on leadership, and challenged on overall competency, President Biden is being hammered on all sides as his approval rating continues its downward slide to a number not seen since the tough scrutiny of the Trump administration,” Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said in a prepared statement.

There are three groups with which Biden’s overall approval is above water. One is those 65 and older who rate him 49-48. The other is black Americans where he is at 66-19. The last is Democrats where he is at 80-10.

FiveThirtyEight has a lengthy analysis of Biden’s approval numbers out today. Their aggregate of recent polling has him higher at nearly 45 percent approval. However, the site notes the bad news: Biden isn’t rebounding as they predicted he would once the Afghanistan debacle left the news cycle.

At the time, we theorized that Biden’s approval rating might recover before too long, especially once the news cycle moved on from the crisis in Afghanistan. After all, presidents’ approval ratings tend to revert to the mean, and fluctuations in former President Donald Trump’s approval rating were especially short-lived. But we’re now more than a month removed from Biden’s difficult August, and there have been no signs of a rebound in his approval rating. At the end of the day on Oct. 5, Biden’s approval/disapproval spread was 44.8 percent to 47.9 percent. That approval rating, in fact, is so far the lowest of his presidency…

This is consistent with the argument that the decline in Biden’s approval rating was never just about Afghanistan.

Indeed, when you look at Biden’s standing on various issues, he’s now underwater on everything. He’s at 48-50 on his handling of the coronavirus. He’s at 39-55 on the economy, at 37-54 on taxes, 34-58 on foreign policy and 25-67 on immigration. I can imagine his coronavirus numbers coming up a bit in the spring but I can also imagine his immigration numbers sinking lower. As FiveThirtyEight puts it, “there may be no easy fix for Biden.”

Speaking of immigration, it’s worth noting that Biden seems to be doing himself no favors with Hispanic voters. On immigration he was 46 points underwater, 23-69. Asked specifically about Biden’s handling of the Mexican border the response was almost the same at 24-68. Of course some of those respondents probably think he’s not being lenient enough. They are going to be even more disappointed when immigration reform doesn’t make it into his reconciliation bill.

But I think the worst news in the poll comes from question 19: “Do you think that in general the Biden administration has been has been competent in running the government. The overall response was 42-55, meaning a majority now think he has not been competent. On the same question 85% of Democrats said Biden was competent, which is absurd at this point when you look at Afghanistan and the border crisis (the latter of which is probably going to hit a historic peak this month).

So the takeaway here is that the honeymoon is over and Biden isn’t bouncing back. His one hope at this point is to get some of these mega bills passed and let the media proclaim him victorious even if he only gets about half of what he wanted and Senators Manchin and Sinema are really in control of his agenda.