fbpx

Sprinkles from the Left

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.76 minutes to read.

“President Biden’s job approval rating is on the downslope…

There is a laundry list of reasons for this. Not only is the United States still in the grip of a pandemic, but also the Delta variant of the coronavirus has led to record infections and deaths in Florida, Texas and other states with relatively low vaccination rates (and where officials have taken a stand against mitigation efforts). At the same time that Delta took hold, Biden also faced a huge backlash from the press and his partisan opponents over the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, which began in chaotic fashion with the collapse of the Afghan National Army, the subsequent advance of the Taliban and of course the suicide bombing in Kabul that killed 13 U.S. service members… And as seen in the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy is growing at a slower rate than it did at the start of the summer…

With that said, there’s another dynamic at work, one that should guide our expectations for how popular Biden is and how popular he could become. Put simply, we’re still quite polarized… One of the most consistent findings from the past 20 years of public opinion research is that each new president is more divisive than the last…

Some of this reflects circumstances, some of it reflects the individuals, but most of it is a function of partisan and ideological polarization. Modern presidents have a high floor for public opinion but a low ceiling.”

–Jamelle Bouie, New York Times Opinion columnist ($)

“It’s not at all clear how much the brouhaha over the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan will matter in terms of the 2022 or 2024 elections, or even exactly how much it is contributing to increasingly sour public and media perceptions of Joe Biden. But there’s not much question that the intense glare of publicity over the president’s management of the situation in Kabul has eroded his previously amazing ability to lurk in the background, seemingly protected from Republican attacks, even when his policies aroused controversy. So what we may now be seeing in his job approval ratings are how well Biden fares when the eyes of the nation are riveted on his every action…

Whatever it portends, Biden’s plunge underwater is hardly unique. According to a UC Santa Barbara analysis of Gallup data, every president dating back to Lyndon Johnson had net-negative approval ratings at some point…

So there’s no reason for Team Biden to freak out, unless congressional Democrats become frightened and cannot sustain their remarkable degree of unity this year long enough to enact the combo platter of infrastructure and budget-reconciliation legislation that contains much of Biden’s agenda. But… the odds continue to diminish that the 46th president is going to be popular enough to lift his party to victory in the 2022 elections.”

–Ed Kilgore, political columnist for New York Magazine

Sprinkles from the Right

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.70 minutes to read.

“The media is hammering President Biden over the chaotic fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban. That can only amplify what was already a slow but steady decline in his job approval numbers…

None of this should come as a surprise to the administration or to Democrats. Presidential ratings tend to fall over time from a post-inauguration high. Analysts from both parties have long argued that the odds were against Democrats holding their congressional majorities in the midterm elections given their slim margins and historical trends…

Biden’s weakness is most apparent among independent voters… While Democrats remain staunchly in support, that simply isn’t enough to preserve the party’s congressional majority given that the Democratic base support is concentrated in a small number of urban areas…

Republicans are surely salivating over what might happen next. If Biden placates his party’s vocal progressive base, he will double down on pushing as much of his liberal agenda through as possible. The more he gives them, the likelier a 2010-style GOP tsunami reappears. If he plays for the general election, however, he angers that base. That will increase intraparty strife, which will become a major issue in 2022 as progressives challenge less-leftist incumbents and push for more left-wing policies to motivate the party’s base to vote…

Biden’s coalition was always more anti-Trump than pro-Democratic. His declining job approval ratings are a sign of that. The Democratic dilemma won’t go away soon no matter what happens in Afghanistan.”

–Henry Olsen, Washington Post columnist and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center ($)

“Even in our highly polarized atmosphere, where partisans stubbornly cling to their team colors, Mr. Biden’s approval ratings have plummeted. Since Aug. 1, his numbers in the RealClearPolitics average have dropped from 51.3% approve to 45.8% approve, and in the FiveThirtyEight.com average, from 51.5% approve to 46.7% approve.

These losses aren’t only because of Afghanistan. The president’s ratings are dropping on his handling of Covid, the economy, immigration and crime, too. I bet they get worse in the months ahead, despite attempted P.R. resets.

Mr. Biden’s shaky and listless performance has demolished the idea that he’ll be a credible contender in 2024. Also wrecked is any sense that Vice President Kamala Harris is an acceptable heir. The president’s failures and shortcomings are hers as well, while she’s failed to produce success in virtually every responsibility she has been given to handle.

But who could emerge to replace them? Both the White House and the aging apparatchiks of the Democratic Congressional leadership will discourage new faces from making their ambitions known. And Mr. Biden’s actions and Tuesday’s speech diminished what little good will he has among swing voters, which will also hurt Democrats if Republicans make 2022 about checks-and-balances. It ain’t a pretty picture.”

–Karl Rove, former Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff during the George W. Bush administration (WSJ)