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Media critic says the press is missing the real reason President Biden’s polling is so bad

by | Dec 21, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

This is the last post until next Tuesday. Let me wish you all a Merry Christmas!

We’ll finish with a look at a post by Jack Shafer, POLITICO’s senior media writer, headlined “The Media Is All Wrong About Biden’s Poor Polling: The press is missing the most important fact”.

Missing what? His abysmal job approval ratings? No, lots of stories about that 33%. His sinking popularity among Blacks and especially Hispanics? No, like a weed making its way up through the sideway, that truth is gradually seeing the light of day.

How about his awful numbers on specific policy issues [“Bidenomics” anyone?]; feelings about the direction of the country [can’t hide the large negative there]; and, above all, concerns about his age [he’d be 86 if he won next year and served out his second term]? Etc., etc., etc.

So what IS it that the press is missing, according to Shafer, that leads them astray on Biden’s poor polling numbers?

Ah…outside of Delaware, Biden has never been that popular to begin with!

The President bellyaches to his staff but….

What Biden overlooks — as does much of the press writing about Biden’s unpopularity — is that he was never a wildly popular figure nationally, so why should he be now? His instruction that the staff find a way to secure himself a place in the public’s heart is probably as doable at this point as unscrambling an egg.


Shafer’s offers lots of evidence to back his thesis up. To name just one

The signs of Biden’s inherent unpopularity were present from the beginning of his presidency. Just two weeks into Biden’s term, the New York Times was noting that while he had a broad positive approval rating, his didn’t come close to that of Barack Obama on inauguration day, and his net approval rating was lower than any of his predecessors except Trump. Biden remained popular for the first six months of his presidency, the “honeymoon” presidents get, but then began the slide that now places him at 38 percent favorable in an average of 17 polls calculated by the Washington Post.


Come to think of it, one other data point. He won his party’s nomination for President by barely breaking 30% and more than likely prevailed only because of the endorsement of South Carolina’s Representative James Clyburn. Surely it was

not because he was popular but because he was running as a centrist in a field clogged with progressives. He also had the good political fortune to emerge as the last moderate candidate standing against socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders. Establishment Democrats didn’t love Joe as much as they disliked Sanders and wanted a candidate around whom they could coalesce. and that in the end it

His only path to re-election? According to Shafer, Biden wins only if former President Trump is the Republican nominee. “Biden’s unpopularity might not matter as long as voters hate the other guy enough.


if he’s looking for a guaranteed way to move his numbers up, he should do what President Lyndon Johnson did in 1968. Johnson dropped out of the presidential contest and by the time he exited the White House, he was close to regaining a 50 percent approval rating.Want to be liked? Try doing something likable

Categories: Joe Biden
Tags: Joe Biden