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Support for a second Biden term plummets, even among Democrats

by | Feb 6, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

Many things explain the startling results of a new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released over the weekend that found the percentage of Democrats who want President Biden to seek a second term had plummeted from 52% last October to 37%.

But in a nutshell, as Josh Boak and Hannah Fingerhut report

While Biden has trumpeted his legislative victories and ability to govern, the poll suggests relatively few U.S. adults give him high marks on either. Follow-up interviews with poll respondents suggest that many believe the 80-year-old’s age is a liability, with people focused on his coughing, his gait, his gaffes and the possibility that the world’s most stressful job would be better suited for someone younger.

Overall, the percentage of U.S, adult who said Biden should run again has dropped from 29% last October to 22% in the latest AP poll.

How about job approval?

Overall, 41% approve of how Biden is handling his job as president, the poll shows, similar to ratings at the end of last year. A majority of Democrats still approve of the job Biden is doing as president, yet their appetite for a reelection campaign has slipped despite his electoral track record.

As you might suspect, the largest decline is among younger Democrats. “Among Democrats age 45 and over, 49% say Biden should run for reelection, nearly as many as the 58% who said that in October,” according to Boak and Fingerhut.

“But among those under age 45, 23% now say he should run for reelection, after 45% said that before the midterms.” Just to be clear that is a drop of almost exactly half!

What else? The survey of 1,068 adults found

*”Only 23% of U.S. adults say they have ‘a great deal’ of confidence in Biden to effectively manage the White House. That has ticked down from 28% a year ago and remains significantly lower than 44% two years ago, just as Biden took office.”

* “Just 21% have a lot of confidence in Biden’s ability to handle a crisis, down slightly from 26% last March.”

* “Just 13% have a lot of confidence in Biden’s ability to accomplish major policy goals.”

The findings in another new poll, conducted by ABC News-Washington Post, were equally grim for the President:

Fifty-eight percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents support the idea of nominating someone other than Biden, the poll found. Just 31 percent said they would support Biden, who would be 86 years old at the end of a potential second term.

In addition, according to Toluse OlorunnipaScott Clement, and Emily Guskin,

The poll finds that 62 percent of Americans think Biden has accomplished “not very much” or “little or nothing” during his presidency, while 36 percent say he has accomplished “a great deal” or “a good amount.”

If you parse these out according to political affiliation, the results are even more eye-opening:

While 77 percent of Democrats say Biden has accomplished at least a good amount, that drops to 32 percent among political independents. Only seven percent of Republicans say he has accomplished much, while 93 percent say he has accomplished not very much, little or nothing.

Finally, and perhaps the worst number of all:

A growing number of Americans say their own financial circumstances are worsening on Biden’s watch. Roughly 4 in 10 Americans (41 percent) say they are not as well-off financially since Biden became president, up from 35 percent one year ago and the highest percentage to report such a sentiment under any president in Post-ABC polls since measurement began in 1986. [Underlining added.]

ABC News’s Gary Langer puts these numbers in historical perspective:

Four in 10 Americans say they’ve gotten worse off financially since Joe Biden became president, the most in ABC News/Washington Post polls dating back 37 years. 

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