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No Christmas Cheer for President Biden: Approval Hits Another Low

Besieged by crises since the Taliban fully retook Afghanistan in August, President Joe Biden may have been hoping for some Christmas cheer. But the pivotal member of the U.S. Senate, West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, announced Sunday that he will not support the president’s blowout social-spending package, dooming the legislation. And this Monday morning, Marist College released the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour poll, which pegs Biden’s approval rating at its lowest point yet.

President Joe Biden (Flickr)

If Marist’s survey is to be taken at face value despite the liberal bias of sponsors NPR and PBS, Biden’s approval rating among all American adults is 41%. 55% disapprove of his job performance. Among registered voters, Biden is at 42% approval.

Limited Support Overall:

Independents hold the president’s job performance in low regard, evidenced by his 29% approval rating among that key subgroup. 66% of independents disapprove of Biden’s job performance, and 50% strongly disapprove. Just 9% of independents strongly approve of the president.

In fact, Biden’s 41% overall approval rating is buttressed only by his 87% support among Democrats, whom Marist appears to massively oversample relative to their share of the population. Gallup finds that 27% of Americans are Democrats, compared to 31% who are Republicans, but Marist’s sample is 28% Republican and 34% Democratic.

Among geographic subgroups, only those in the Northeast approve of Biden. 51% of people there approve of his job performance, with 45% disapproving. Conversely, the Midwest disapproves of the president’s job performance 67% to 31%, and he is at 42% and 43% approval in the South and West, respectively.

Millennials, members of Generation X, and Boomers disapprove of Biden. Biden’s collapse among the young is a reversal from the 2020 election, when those aged 18 to 49 strongly backed his bid against former President Donald Trump. Only the Silent Generation approves of Biden’s job performance, by a one-point margin: 48% approve and 47% disapprove.

Steady Decline:

Biden’s overall approval rating, as captured by Marist, cratered in the second half of 2021. The president peaked in April with a 54% approval among all voters, dropped to 49% by August, and then plunged to his present 41%.

Most shocking has been Biden’s collapse among Latino voters. Exit polling shows that Biden won the Latino vote 65% to 32% in 2020. In a near-reversal, just 33% of Latinos approve of his job performance and a whopping 65% disapprove. Perhaps worse for the president, 52% of Latinos strongly disapprove of his job performance.

RealClearPolitics’ average of Biden’s job-approval polls pegs him at 44.4% approval, up from 41.3% in mid-November. However, Marist and pollsters that report their results at regular intervals—namely, RMG Research and Rasmussen Reports—suggest that the president’s marginal average improvement is a “dead cat bounce,” i.e., a phantom, temporary improvement amid a long-term decline.

Biden won nine of 10 most infected states (N.Y. Times)

Coronavirus is on the upswing in highly vaccinated, Democratic-leaning states despite the president’s October 30, 2020 declaration that “I’m going to shut down the virus.” Given Biden’s failure to carry out his central campaign promise and his recent statement that unvaccinated Americans are looking at “a winter of severe illness and death,” he should himself brace for a tough political winter.