During a recent speech, President Joe Biden wanted Americans to understand what is at the bottom of the country’s mood right now. The list he provides of the issues his administration has caused is rather astonishing. Clearly, he knows what has Americans upset: the endless pandemic, lengthy school closures in blue states at the direction of teachers’ unions, rising energy prices, and sluggish economic growth.
A Harvard-Harris poll released today shows that Americans agree with Biden’s assessment. Among registered voters, 56% say the country is on the wrong track, and 57% say the economy is. When you take out the 8-10% that say they are unsure, Biden’s approval is hovering in the mid-30s on these overarching themes. Fifty-seven percent see the economy as weak, and a plurality says their personal financial situation is getting worse.
Biden’s overall approval rating is 43%, and approval of the Democrat Party is at 38%. Respondents even had a more favorable view of President Trump than of Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris. If the election were held today, Trump would lead Biden by one point, and Republicans would lead Democrats by six points on the generic ballot. A majority are concerned about Biden’s fitness for office, and 58% say he is showing he is too old to be President.
The very institutions the Biden administration is destroying — the U.S. military and police officers — are among registered voters’ favorites. Together with Amazon at number two, they make up the top three with favorability ratings between 71% and 80%. Maybe that is why the defund the police movement crashed on Election Day. The top two issues for Americans are the economy and Coronavirus. However, concern with the pandemic declined five points since the last score.
Related: Inflation Nation: Massive Rise Confirmed by Shocking New Numbers
On the issues, Biden doesn’t break 50% approval in any area:
Other than Afghanistan, immigration has the lowest approval rating among the issues. Nearly three-quarters of Americans say the administration needs to address the current surge in illegal immigrants now. They believe Biden was wrong to reverse Trump’s remain in Mexico policy, and 71% believe illegal border crossers should be denied entry. Fifty-nine percent worry that the administration is creating an open border and increasing the flow of illicit drugs. Two-thirds want stricter border policies and think that Biden’s executive orders encourage immigration.
Registered voters do not want the Biden tax plan and oppose income tax increases or taxes on unrealized gains and favor a lower corporate tax. They expect that an increase in the tax on businesses will cause an increase in prices. Nearly 75% want a social spending bill of less than $1.5 to $2 trillion, with 29% wanting nothing spent. A majority oppose debt financing and believe it will lead to higher inflation. If their representative votes for the Build Back Better reconciliation bill, 56% say they will be less likely to vote for them, while 65% support the moderate Democrats holding up the reconciliation.
According to the poll, Americans want energy independence and support new drilling in order for the U.S. to stay energy independent and keep prices low. They want to incorporate new fossil-fuel-free technologies gradually for automobiles and view carbon emissions as China’s problem. They also want more police officers, for Attorney General Merrick Garland to rescind his school board memo, to acknowledge two genders with two pronouns, and to ignore race in all decisions about people. So no, you are not crazy. Biology and a colorblind society are not outdated ideas.
Biden has a pretty good idea what some of the problems are, but according to registered voters, he is taking all the wrong steps to fix them. In fact, they believe his proposed solutions will make them worse. As many commentators have noted, Biden sold Americans on a return to normal, not a race to outdo FDR. It is unclear how much feedback the administration needs before they tap the brakes. If it doesn’t change things, the red wave in 2022 will look more like a bloodbath.
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