In the last 48 hours, the news media has acknowledged that President Biden’s approval ratings are sagging, tanking, slipping — the descriptions from the press are many. Mr. Biden has been in office less than nine months.
“This Sept. 11, a diminished president will preside over a diminished nation. Joe Biden was supposed to be the man of the hour: a calming presence exuding decency, moderation and trust. As a candidate, he sold himself as a transitional president, a fatherly figure in the mold of George H.W. Bush who would restore dignity and prudence to the Oval Office after the mendacity and chaos that came before. It’s why I voted for him, as did so many others who once tipped red. Instead, Biden has become the emblem of the hour: headstrong but shaky, ambitious but inept,” wrote Bret Stephens, an op-ed columnist for The New York Times.
“Biden’s sagging approval ratings, especially among independents, are raising questions about his ability to move his agenda through a House and Senate where centrist and liberal Democrats are battling one another,” The Hill noted.
“Biden approval is tanking in key House districts,” said National Review.
“Biden’s job approval dives — and it’s not just Afghanistan,” advised Investors Business Daily.
“Facing a barrage of bipartisan criticism for weeks over his handling of the turbulent U.S. withdrawal and evacuation from Afghanistan, and with a surge in new COVID cases due to the spread across the country this summer of the highly infectious delta variant, the president’s approval ratings are slipping,” said Fox News.
“Fewer Americans than ever think Biden has a clear plan to fight covid, poll finds,” said Forbes, citing a Gallup poll that found 42% of Americans do not believe Biden has a clear plan of action to fight the virus, up from 35% in July.
Such findings have been accumulating for over a month. Polls from NBC News, ABC News/Washington Post, National Public Radio, PBS, Morning Consult, IPSOS, IBD/Tipp, YouGov/Rasmussen Reports, Quinnipiac University and Saint Anselm College have found Mr. Biden with more unpopular than popular ratings at this point.
THE ENTHUSIASM FACTOR
President Biden’s fragile poll numbers are only the beginning of election-related woes.
“What should be more worrisome for Biden (and Democrats overall), is that the intensity of opposition to the president is also on the rise, while strong approval has dropped. In fact, for the first time, recent polling shows net strong disapproval of Biden at a nearly equal level to that of former president Trump at this point in his tenure,” writes Amy Walter, editor in chief of The Cook Political Report.
“Why does this matter? Elections, especially midterms, are driven by enthusiasm. And, the party out of power is almost always much more motivated to vote than the party in power,” she notes.
“Bottom line: angry people vote, complacent or disappointed ones don’t. As such, the increase in strong dissatisfaction of President Biden is an important metric to watch closely over these next few months,” Ms. Walter later concludes.
“Smart Democrats will retire because they know voters won’t turn out for their toxic agenda of higher prices, reckless spending, and massive tax hikes,” responds National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Mike Berg.
THEY ROOT FOR THE DEMOCRATS
Liberal news anchors, pundits and correspondents publicly dwell on ways Democrats can succeed — almost as if the party was a sports team, points out Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the Media Research Center, a conservative press watchdog.
“They fawn over Democrats, favor them, coach them, and only fault them when the polls falter,” he writes in a new analysis, adding that Republicans are routinely described as dangerously extreme.
“All of this can turn out as the media would like, that they have almost hypnotized the voters into supporting a Democrat agenda. Or it always has the potential to backfire, and the media give Democrats a false sense of security and popularity. Then, when they lose elections after going ideologically overboard, they have trouble believing that it’s a real result,” Mr. Graham says.
The TV crowd is out to root, root, root for their home team, which is the Democratic Party, of course.
“Whatever the outcome, our media cannot be expected to resemble a ‘referee’ or a neutral observer. They can’t help but expose their rooting interest, like a streaker on the playing field of politics,” the analyst concludes.
During the week of Aug. 30-Sept. 5, Fox News Channel bested CNN and MSNBC in viewership throughout the day and in prime time. And for the third week in a row, bested broadcast networks like ABC, NBC and CBS in the prime-time hours as well. Fox News drew 2.6 million viewers compared to 1.2 million who preferred MSNBC and 876,000 who chose CNN. The result? Fox News aired an astonishing 80 of the top 100 cable programs during the week — besting such non-news competition as ESPN, HGTV, TLC and the Hallmark Channel.
As usual “Tucker Carlson Tonight” was the top-rated program with 3.7 million viewers, followed by “Hannity” (3.5 million) and “The Five” (3.4 million). Another standout is “Gutfeld!”, which drew an audience of 2 million — outpacing all the late not competition on ABC, CBS and NBC — plus all cable offerings in that time slot.
POLL DU JOUR
⦁ 61% of U.S. adults favor requiring people to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to travel by airplane; 29% of Republicans, 50% of independents and 92% of Democrats agree.
⦁ 58% overall favor proof of vaccination to attend events with large crowds; 25% of Republicans, 48% of independents and 90% of Democrats agree.
⦁ 56% overall favor proof of vaccination to go to an office or worksite; 24% of Republicans, 43% of independents and 88% of Democrats agree.
⦁ 53% overall favor vaccination proof to stay in a hotel; 23% of Republicans, 42% of independents and 83% of Democrats agree.
⦁ 53% overall favor proof of vaccination to dine in a restaurant; 21% of Republicans, 41% of independents and 85% of Democrats agree.
Source: A Gallup poll of 3,353 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 16-22 and released Sept. 3.
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