While President Joe Biden may want to distract Americans from the border crisis and downplay the threats of Marxist critical race theory (CRT) and inflation, Americans know better. Most Americans recognize the border crisis as a serious issue, blame Biden’s policies for exacerbating it, and say Biden should return to former President Donald Trump’s policies on the border. Americans also worry about the threat of inflation and oppose CRT in schools.
At his speech on Saturday, Trump hit Biden on the border crisis and suggested that the crisis vindicated his successful policies — the policies Biden abandoned. A recent poll suggests Trump is correct.
Americans may give Biden a high approval rating overall (59 percent) in the new Harvard/Harris poll, but the poll also revealed serious cracks in his support and his message. Americans want Biden to work out a compromise deal with Republicans on infrastructure, and they are beginning to see the Republican Party more favorably.
An overwhelming majority (80 percent) of voters said that illegal immigration is either a very serious (43 percent) or a somewhat serious (37 percent) issue, and most voters (63 percent) correctly said that the number of monthly illegal immigrant border crossings has increased since Biden took office.
Most voters (68 percent) said Biden’s executive orders on immigration encourage illegal immigration, and a majority of them (55 percent) said “the Biden administration [should] have left those Trump policies that made it more difficult to come into the country in place.”
More voters blame the Biden administration (61 percent) than the Trump administration (39 percent) for “the flood of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minor children” coming to the border. Voters also prefer turning illegal border crossers back to Mexico (67 percent) rather than releasing them into the U.S. with a court date (33 percent).
Voters support Trump’s policies and fault Biden’s policies despite the fact that they significantly underestimate the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border. Most voters (84 percent) underestimated the flood of illegal immigrants (border agents stopped 180,034 people in May, not including the number of illegal immigrants who got away, at least 40,000 in April). Most voters (64 percent) also said that, given the large influx of illegal immigrants, the Biden administration should “issue new, stricter policies.”
Voters also gave Vice President Kamala Harris poor marks on the border crisis. A plurality (44 percent) said she has done a “bad job” addressing the “root causes of illegal immigration,” while only 30 percent rated her job as “good” and others (26 percent) called it merely “adequate.” A plurality of voters (40 percent) also said Harris’ trip to Central America made “no progress,” while fewer voters said it made “meaningful progress” (21 percent) or “some progress” (24 percent).
Voters also said the economy is improving primarily because of the COVID-19 vaccine (54 percent) more than because of the Biden administration’s policies (46 percent).
A vast majority of voters (85 percent) said that they were either very concerned (45 percent) or somewhat concerned (40 percent) about inflation, which Biden’s profligate spending has arguably worsened.
Voters also opposed the idea that schools should teach Marxist critical race theory in schools. Sixty-one percent said that elementary schools should not teach kids “that America is structurally racist and is dominated by white supremacy,” the conclusion of increasingly mainstream CRT, which has sparked a civil war in education.
Democrats have obfuscated the issue, claiming that concern about CRT is a “conspiracy theory” or even a manifestation of white “privilege.” Such claims effectively erase the black parents, black teachers, and Asian organizations that have rightly condemned CRT. The fact that 61 percent of voters told Harvard they oppose CRT in schools underscores the cross-racial opposition to CRT.
These findings vindicate Trump on the border crisis, his vaccine effort through Operation Warp Speed, and his vocal opposition to CRT. Biden and his fellow Democrats may try to wiggle out of these issues, denying their importance or — as Harris recently did — trying to blame Trump for them. This poll suggests that Americans see through their obfuscations.