If Joe Biden’s team drew up a nightmare scenario for his reelection announcement, even they couldn’t have predicted something this awful. A string of crises, policy failures, and negative polling have all combined to make the rollout a complete dud by most pundits’ standards — and the idea of a second term unimaginable by most voters. Is two years already too much? The majority of Americans seem to be saying yes.
Until recently, the White House had managed to keep the storm clouds of China, an out-of-control southern border, inflation, and the Biden family’s questionable financials from breaking over an already shaky approval rating. That changed this week, as “brutal” poll numbers were released on everything from the president’s mental fitness to how he’s handling the job.
Monday’s rock bottom approval rating (36%) marked the lowest of Biden’s presidency, sending “shockwaves” through the Democratic Party, a former Clinton pollster said. “When he drops here from 42 to 36 in approval in this poll, that’s all [the] Democrats who are jumping ship and saying, ‘I don’t approve of the presidency he’s doing,’” Mark Penn insisted on “America’s Newsroom.” As for the numbers being an anomaly, Penn argued this has been coming “for a long time.” “Look,” he pointed out, “the Harris polling showed the same thing. People question his fitness for continued office. Most Democrats didn’t want him to run. But this poll has to send shockwaves. … He just announced for presidency. You’re supposed to go up when you announce, not down.”
A whopping 63% of Americans now believe Biden lacks the “mental sharpness” to be president, the ABC News/Washington Post survey shows, compared to just 32% who think he does. Just last year, a little over half (54%) were concerned. But, with another year’s worth of rambling statements, memory loss, and situational unawareness, even the friendly media can’t tamp down concerns.
Adding to the bad news, another 68% say he’s too old for a second term — while the age of his stiffest competition, Donald Trump, at 76, weighs a lot less heavily (44%) on people’s minds. MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle addressed the elephant (donkey?) in the room with Biden himself, pointing out — quite bluntly — that “there’s not a Fortune 500 company in the world looking to hire a CEO in his 80s.” So why, she asked, “would an 82-year-old Joe Biden be the right person for the most important job in the world?”
Relying on stale talking points, Biden made the argument that most Democrats were banking on to win him a second term: the 45th president. “We cannot let this election be one where the same man who was president four years ago becomes president again.”
That strategy worked in 2020, when people hoped Biden would have time to accomplish things worth running on in four years. Now, without a single policy success to his name and fires raging across his foreign and domestic agendas, Democrats are betting the farm on the hatred for his old nemesis and a laundry list of social extremisms.
Turns out, that’s not a very compelling argument when families can barely afford groceries and our enemies threaten nuclear war with the world. Add to that the two-year onslaught of wokeness Biden is fueling in education, sports, corporate America, and health care, and it’s no wonder Democrats are looking for the exits. Fifty-five percent of his own party doesn’t want him to run again, and, as Penn explained, “they’re looking at a potential Titanic at this point unless it changes.”
In a head-to-head with Trump, the former president has a clear, seven-point lead (49-42%) — well beyond the poll’s margin of error. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), widely considered the second most potent GOP candidate, enjoys the same comfortable advantage (48-41%). Obviously, the MAGA-bashing isn’t working. Biden’s problem, unfortunately for Democrats, is Biden.
FRC Action Vice President Brent Keilen pointed out, “The 2024 election will be about turnout, and turnout is determined by voter enthusiasm. The fact that only 18% of Americans strongly approve of President Biden’s work indicates he will have a difficult time motivating voters to turn out,” he told The Washington Stand. “The voters are looking for real leadership, and they don’t think they’re currently getting that.”
Even at the highest levels of the Democratic Party, the fears about Biden are real. Democratic strategist Donna Brazile admitted to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that the negative numbers “kept me up.” With his support tanking among reliable voting blocs like black, Hispanic, independent, and suburban women voters, Brazile worries that the entire 2020 coalition “is fragmented.” “That should concern them. The second thing that should concern them, of course, is that they are still unable to get a real good strong message to the American people [on] … where they want to take the country.”
On that point, Brazile is wrong. Americans understand exactly where Biden wants to take the country — to open borders, rampant crime on our streets, sky-rocketing prices, loan default, government dependence, medically-mutilated children in the name of “gender ideology,” war with China, the end of parental and women’s rights, religious targeting, and socialized, one-party rule.
As Family Research Council’s Quena Gonzalez pointed out, that jig is up. “Joe Biden ran as a centrist, the moderate choice, but he’s governed far to the left of the electorate. Most Americans want Washington, D.C. to balance the budget, protect our borders, and leave us alone. Instead, Biden has been beholden to those in his party who despise America, love abortion, embrace radical gender ideology for kindergarteners, and resent the Constitution, the Supreme Court, Republicans in Congress — and anyone else who stands in the way of their dystopian ideas.”
“From reversing himself on the right of Americans to believe in one-man, one-woman marriage to siccing the FBI on parents who show up at school board meetings, President Biden has lashed himself to the most extreme wing of his party,” he told TWS. “He’s borrowed trillions of dollars that our great-grandchildren will still owe, and he’s driving the nation’s economy off of a cliff. Americans should continue to pray for our leaders, including President Biden, that they would fear God and lead us well. But from the looks of the polls, perhaps most Americans are beginning to simply pray that God will bless and keep the president — far away from us.”
Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.
EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.
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