NEWS AND OPINION:
It has been a disconcerting week for the Democratic Party this week.
White House communications director Kate Bedingfield has turned in her notice and will leave this summer. The midterm election may yield some GOP landslides. President Biden’s approval rating is down to 36% according to an Ipsos Monmouth University poll — and it languishes at 38% with Morning Consult. The normally affable press, meanwhile, is beginning to waver in its support in the last 48 hours.
“How low can Joe Biden’s approval ratings go?” asked CNN earlier this week. “Biden approval rating plummets to new low, marking year of high disapproval,” reported Newsweek.
But the following reference, focused on former President Donald Trump, is perhaps more telling.
“Biden is now polling worse than Trump was at the same point in his presidency,” wrote Ed Kilgore, a political analyst for New York magazine.
“At this point in 2018, Trump’s average job-approval rating at RealClearPolitics was 43.2%. Biden’s today is at 38.2%, five full points lower. When Election Day arrived in 2018, Trump’s job-approval rating was virtually unchanged, and his party lost 41 House seats, though thanks to an extremely favorable Senate landscape, the GOP made a net gain of two seats in the upper chamber. It’s possible, of course, that Biden’s popularity may rebound by November, but his job-approval rating hasn’t been above 43% this year, and the overall trend is an excruciatingly slow but steady erosion of support,” Mr. Kilgore said.
ANOTHER WHITE HOUSE MATTER
This is of the most pleasant nature.
The White House Historical Association will release the 26th edition of “The White House: An Historic Guide,” which offers a fine room-by-room tour of this grand home. This edition features new images of behind-the-scenes areas including the bowling alley, the kitchen, collections storage, calligraphy office, floral shop, tennis court and pool.
There are also nifty fold-out pages and wide-angle photos. This is one of several award-winning books from this meticulous and creative group. The book arrives on July 28; check WhiteHouseHistory.org. Of note: The group has a “Christmas in July sale” of holiday items currently underway.
BARRY GOLDWATER JR. HAS A SAY
Let’s spend a moment with Barry Goldwater Jr. — former Republican congressman from Arizona and son of the late U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican presidential nominee.
He has formally endorsed Walt Blackman, a combat veteran who served in the Army for 22 years and saw seven tours of duty. In the process he earned a Bronze Star and a Meritorious Service Medal serving in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq — where he fought in the Second Battle of Fallujah.
Mr. Blackman later went on to win a seat in the Arizona legislature in 2018 and is now the Republican candidate for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.
He could also play a significant role in the GOP push to regain seats for the party around the nation.
“Arizonans can count on Walt Blackman to bring conservative values to Congress and to serve the 2nd Congressional District faithfully in Washington, just as he served our country overseas. I am endorsing Walt Blackman because he is the conservative warrior who will flip this seat red in November,” Mr. Goldwater said in a statement shared with Inside the Beltway.
The candidate has also earned the endorsements of 17 current members of the Arizona state Senate and House. He is a pro-life candidate and counts border security, veterans affairs, criminal justice and Second Amendment rights among his top issues.
Find his story at BlackmanForCongress.com.
CONFIDENCE NOW A RARITY
A wide-ranging poll from Gallup finds that Americans have lost confidence in major U.S. institutions such as Congress, the news media and large technology companies.
The greatest drop in confidence, however, occurred with the office of U.S. president, which fell by 15 percentage points in the last year. The poll found that 23% of U.S. adults are now confident in the presidency.
Things are tough all over, though.
“Americans are less confident in major U.S. institutions than they were a year ago, with significant declines for 11 of the 16 institutions tested and no improvements for any,” wrote Jeffrey M. Jones, senior editor for Gallup.
There are two institutions that still have hearty approval, even though that approval has dropped in the past year. That would be small businesses, which earned the confidence of 68% of the respondents, and the U.S. military, which drew the confidence of 64%.
Congress was at the very bottom of the list, earning the confidence of just 7% of the respondents, along with TV news, which earned the confidence of 11%.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale: Country music great Johnny Cash’s “serene getaway,” built in mid-century modern style in 1961 on six acres in Casita Springs, California. Five bedrooms, four and a half baths, natural tile and wood throughout, generous windows, ceiling beams, grand fireplace; 4,500 square feet. Custom kitchen with rustic wood paneling, private gated road, tile roof, in-ground pool, rare specimen trees and plants, mountain views. Priced at $1.8 million through Elliman.com; enter the words “Nye” and “Road” without quote marks in the search function.
POLL DU JOUR
• 6% of U.S. adults say the American system of government is “basically sound and needs no changes.”
• 30% say the American system is “basically sound but needs some improvement.”
• 26% say the system is “not too sound and needs many improvements.”
• 36% say it is “not sound at all and needs significant changes.”
• 2% are unsure about the issue.
SOURCE: A Monmouth University poll of 978 U.S. adults conducted June 23-27.
• Helpful information to email@example.com.
Correction: The last name of White House communications director Kate Bedingfield was misspelled in a previous version of this column.