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“How Has Joe Biden Become So Unpopular?” read an eye-opening headline in the New York Times on September 4, 2021. The Times, President Joe Biden’s most crucial ally in the press, admitted that Americans have turned on Biden less than a year into his presidency.
The answer to the question is simple: he fell off track. Independents asked two things of Biden: contain COVID and don’t send mean tweets. The former is a failure, and Americans now require more from Biden than the latter.
President Biden held a 54% to 41% approval-disapproval rating at the end of his first 100 days in office. Although Biden’s first 100 days were anything but pleasant, leading to the still unanswered crisis at the Southern border, his reign went as planned: Biden hid as independent voters viewed him as good enough. Unfortunately for Biden, that changed after a botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. As a result, Biden’s approval rating fell to 43% in the most recent Gallup poll, a 13% decline from June. Though 90% of Democrat voters still approve of him, only 37% of independents share the feeling.
So does Afghanistan sum up Biden’s fall entirely? Short answer, yes — long answer, no.
Biden lost goodwill among Americans following the events of Afghanistan. Independent voters who gave Biden a pass in the spring no longer accept his other woes, including the border crisis, inflation, and a tyrannical approach to the vaccine mandates.
Gallup’s tracker also shows that while Biden’s approval rating leads Trump’s 37% at this point in his presidency, he trails Obama’s 52%, Bush’s 51%, and Clinton’s 47%.
Consistent findings from the past 20 years show each new president is more divisive than the last. However, Biden’s approval rating likely will not hit as low as Trump’s. Trump was an outlier. Trump’s detractors hated him to a degree fierce Biden critics can’t fathom. That said, Biden will not reach the popularity line that Obama, Bush, and Clinton did by the end of their first term.
Moreover, where is the evidence Biden can turn his presidency around? I’m not into cheap political shots, but Biden is the most uninspiring speaker in decades. An objective observation concludes that at age 78, Biden is in cognitive decline. And according to his own words, he’s not in control. How many times has Biden told the press he is not allowed to answer their questions? He is the president. So if he has a boss, the American voters must know who that person is immediately.
All in all, Biden is vulnerable. See, Biden could have won re-election the same way he won in 2020: by not losing. We repeatedly heard from voters in 2016 that they voted for the lesser of two evils. While fewer said so in 2020, that same mindset won Biden the presidency in key battleground states. If 2024 is again about the lesser of two evils, and I suspect it will, that doesn’t bode well for Biden.
It certainly doesn’t mean he can’t win again or that polls won’t favor him as the incumbent. However, Biden must start winning instead of coasting. I have doubts he can — what say you?
“How Has Joe Biden Become So Unpopular?” the Times asks. Because unforeseen political roadblocks have forced Biden to be more than simply not Donald Trump. And thus far, that is all President Joe Biden has been.