According to the bulk of the media, President Joe Biden is among the most popular presidents ever — and there are ample polls that show him with positive approval and favorability ratings following his first three months in office.
Unfortunately for Biden, political analyst Michael Barone, writing for the Washington Examiner, surmised that there are also “signs of problems” within the “underpinnings” of those surveys that could cause the president and his Democratic Party some political harm in the near future.
Skewed polls; Democrats retiring
Poll after poll shows President Biden with solidly positive approval numbers, as evidenced by the RealClearPolitics average of polls that show Biden with a 54.1% approval and 41.6% disapproval rating.
However, digging into the demographic details of the individual polls that make up that average often reveals a common tactic employed by pollsters that is typically favorable to the left: an undersampling of Republican respondents combined with an oversampling of Democrats and/or independents, skewing the poll’s results.
That problem isn’t exclusive to Biden, though, and those in the media usually dispute such claims, even as the evidence is often there in the demographic details — provided those details are even made public — for all to see, if they know where to look.
One potentially negative issue for Biden that, again, while not exclusive, could still prove troublesome is the growing number of congressional Democrats opting to either retire or run for a different office in the next election cycle — a number that Ballotpedia recently said includes at least five House Democrats.
Some of those currently Democrat-held seats are in districts won by former President Donald Trump, and Republicans are undoubtedly targeting those seats, among others, in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections that are already predicted to swing toward the right and deliver the House majority to the GOP — a transition in power that would largely stymie Biden’s legislative agenda going forward.
Border crisis the biggest issue
Arguably the biggest problem for Biden, which is also borne out in the details of most of the approval polls, is that the president’s worst issue is his handling of the evolving border crisis, which in large part was created by his own words and deeds as he took over the White House.
Politico reported in April that President Biden is facing critical but distinctly separate attacks from both the right and the left, with the former arguing that he needs to do more to secure the border and halt the flood of illegal aliens seeking entry, while the latter insists that Biden live up to his campaign rhetoric and open the borders completely while offering amnesty to all.
There are also the special elections in various parts of the country, most recently in Texas, where Republican voters appear to have outperformed Democratic voters, particularly in races where divisive cultural issues and disparate policy solutions are at play, such as with perceived “systemic racism,” dealing with homelessness, and rising crime rates.
Barone argued that a key factor in those elections could be a measure of “apathy” from the left and Biden’s supporters, particularly in the absence of the motivating factor that was President Trump as well as the current Democratic control of Washington D.C., and which could continue into next year’s midterm elections.
Any or all of those factors, to varying degrees, should have Biden’s team concerned. Whether they will do anything to effectively address or counter those negative issues for him and the party is something that remains to be seen.