Biden’s ‘decline is alarming’ amid administration woes
A focus group of Pennsylvania Democrats shed some light on why President Biden’s poll numbers haven’t bounced back. All nine participants gave Biden ratings of C or lower, and all of their reasonings had one common thread: the pandemic and how it continues to impact day-to-day life.
“There is a malaise,” said Sarah Longwell, a moderate Republican strategist and vocal Biden supporter who led the focus group. “People don’t feel like their lives have been improved. They did sort of feel that promises aren’t being kept.”
Biden’s approval rating among Americans has plummeted, with a nearly 15-point dip on average since June. Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg said only one factor could explain the sharp drop-off: the public’s perception of Biden’s rough handling of the pandemic and the belief that it’s not a priority.
“The president’s decline is alarming. It’s serious,” Rosenberg said. “But it also can be reversed. And it isn’t going to be reversed by passing these two bills alone. He has to get Covid under control.”
Officials hope that successfully passing Biden’s legislation will shift the public’s opinion. Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) blamed the Democratic infighting over the Build Back Better Plan for hurting Biden’s standing with the public.
“On substance, the president’s programs are what people seem to want. Like everything else, it’s the sausage-making that’s causing problems with the polls,” Clyburn said. “There are one or two [senators] that will keep him from getting to 50.”