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Congressional Democrats, the enthusiasm gap, and the problem of an ever-weaker President Biden

by | Sep 14, 2021

By Dave Andrusko

As was immediately pointed out yesterday, it was not the first time the White House has cutoff live feeds in the middle of something President Biden was saying. In this case, it was a briefing with federal and state officials over wild fires. President Biden asked George Geissler of the National Association of State Foresters

“Can I ask you a question?” Mr Biden asked.

“Of course,” Mr Geissler answered.

“One of the things that I have been working on with some others is…” the president was heard saying, before the telecast was cut off mid-sentence.

I thought of that when I read Ed Kilgore’s piece headlined, “Democrats May Have to Change the Subject From Biden in 2022” and Stacey Lennox’s analysis that ran under the headline “CNN Poll Provides Insight Into Anti-Biden Chants Erupting at Stadiums Nationwide.

To state the obvious, this is not a good time for pro-abortion President Biden or for the equally pro-abortion House of Representatives. Biden’s average job approval, as compiled by Real Clear Politics, is down to 45.2% .

As Kilgore pointed out, “[M]idterm prospects are never good for parties controlling the White House,” adding

By definition, you never know when something strange is on the horizon, but the trajectory of Joe Biden’s job-approval ratings, and the “cap” placed on them by partisan polarization, suggest it is very unlikely he’ll roll into 2022 on a wave of adulation.

But what often gets lost is the intensity factor—how strongly people support or oppose a candidate:

As Amy Walter has pointed out, Biden’s job-approval ratio is not only underwater now: The ratio between strong approval and strong disapproval is especially upside down; if translated to enthusiasm levels for the midterms, that’s deadly, given the tiny margin of Democratic control in the House, where every seat is up in the midterms.

Kilgore offers the “hope and a prayer” scenario (from the Democrats’ point of view) that voters are more preoccupied with the former president than the current one. As they say that is a might thin reed to lean on.

The other possibility (to take eyes off of President Biden) is to find policy proposals that poll well with the public. Again, without getting off our topic, Kilgore correctly observes that while individually a proposal may resonate with the public, collectively a number of proposals can be (and often are) a real downer with the average voter.

And that doesn’t even address the intense squabble among Congressional Democrats. 

I believe Lennox’s conclusion is spot-on:

These [Biden’s] numbers will get worse before they get better.

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