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Confidence in Biden’s handling of the economy slips to record low

by | May 7, 2024

By Dave Andrusko

Of all the many subgroups bailing out of the Biden re-election ship, the most telling may be young people who over the years have voted for Democrats often by huge margins.

So…why? Charles Homans and Neil Vigdor of the New York Times made the case yesterday it’s not the answer that quickly comes to mind: the Israel-Hamas war. “Young voters are far more likely than other Americans to support Palestinians,” they write “But few cite the conflict as a top source of discontent with the president.”

In fact, it’s not even among their top issues in the 2024 election. “Like other voters, young people often put economic concerns at the top of the list,” Homans and Vigdor write.

They back their conclusion by drawing on three recent polls: the Pew Research Center, the Harvard Institute of Politics’ Youth Poll, and Economist/YouGov.

In the Harvard poll, the question was “which issue concerns you most?” Economic issues ranked first with 27%–more than four times the second place issue [Foreign Policy/National Security]. Abortion/Reproductive rights was cited by 6%.

In the Economist/YouGov poll “taken more recently, in late April, 22 percent of voters aged 18 to 29 listed inflation as their most important issue. Two percent named foreign policy as their top concern.”

That emphasis on the economy makes a recent Gallup poll all the more significant. The lengthy headline to Megan Brenan story is “Confidence in Biden Economic Stewardship Historically Low: Democrats, Republicans confident in their party leaders; independents more confident in Trump than Biden.

For comparison purposes, Brenan begins with President Obama:

Obama’s confidence ratings were at least 50% each year except for one (42% in 2014). Biden has fared much worse as confidence in his economic management dropped precipitously in 2022 from 57% to 40% amid sharply higher inflation, and it has been below 40% since then.

She closes with this paragraph:

Biden’s subpar rating could have significant electoral implications as not only does he have the lowest economic rating of any president seeking reelection since Gallup began tracking this in 2001, but independents trust his opponent more than him.

More tomorrow.

Categories: Joe Biden