The economy increasingly is a losing argument for President Biden’s reelection.
A slew of new polls show voters’ rising level of frustration with “Bidenomics,” the term Mr. Biden has embraced for his efforts to reshape the economy on behalf of working people.
Nearly three out of four voters — 72% — say they are dissatisfied with the Biden economy in the latest NBC News poll.
Even more ominous for the president’s reelection campaign, 44% of Americans say in the latest ABC News/Washington Post survey that they are worse off financially under Mr. Biden’s presidency, while 15% say they are doing better. That’s the worst for any president in the poll since 1986.
“Get ready to hear more about this,” Jason Miller, an adviser to former President Donald Trump, posted on social media. “A LOT more.”
Similarly, the latest CBS News/YouGov poll found that 45% of voters feel they are worse off financially than prior to the pandemic. In that survey, 20% said they are better off now under Mr. Biden.
Mr. Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, is leading Mr. Biden by 10 points, 52% to 42%, in the ABC-Post poll published on Sunday. The gap was so startling that the liberal Post termed the result “probably an outlier” compared with other surveys showing a closer head-to-head matchup. In the survey, 7% of 2020 Biden voters say they have switched their support to Mr. Trump since the last election.
The polls are showing that, more a year out from the election, Mr. Biden is running against the wobbly economy as much as he’s running against Mr. Trump, with a sharp surge in inflation in 2022 outweighing a strong U.S. labor market.
A recent CNN poll found that 76% of respondents said Mr. Biden’s policies have either worsened economic conditions (58%) or made no difference (18%).
In the ABC-Post survey, 30% of voters approve of Mr. Biden’s handling of the economy — a low for his presidency.
And only 23% of voters approve of Mr. Biden’s handling of the southern border — another all-time low for him.
On the economy, voters in particular cite the higher costs of food and energy as reasons for their dissatisfaction. Inflation, which hit a 40-year high of 9.1% in June 2022, has lowered to 3.7% — but the relative relief only means that prices are rising at a slower rate. Overall costs remain higher.
Across various surveys, three out of four voters believe the 80-year-old Mr. Biden is too old to run again. And the percentage of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who want a new candidate in 2024 keeps rising — it’s 62% in the new ABC-Post poll. Only one-third of Democrats said they want Mr. Biden to be their party’s nominee.
The polling is so bad for Mr. Biden lately that he is even losing the fight over the looming government shutdown in the eyes of voters. In the ABC-Post survey, 40% of Americans said they would blame Mr. Biden and Democrats for a shutdown, while 33% would blame the GOP.
Top Democrats acknowledged Monday that the Biden campaign has more work to do. But they characterized the problem as voters not understanding what the president has done for them.
“We have to not only educate the American people about what we have done to deliver for them,” said Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison. “We also need to give the American people a sense of the other [Republican] side — what they have failed to do in order to create and deliver more jobs, what they failed to do in order to fill potholes and to build infrastructure. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and Democrats have a record to really be proud of and [Democrats need] to go out and to make sure that the American people are well aware of [it]. So that contrast is not just about talking about ‘Bidenomics.’ We have to let the American people know what that contrast is. And we’ll be doing a lot of that between now and Election Day.”
Said former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, “We have to embrace the president and salute his leadership.”
She said of the bad polls for the president, “I don’t know the methodology of some of these polls. But that’s what campaigns are for — to show the contrast.”