Despite the best efforts of President Joe Biden and his partisan media allies to convince Americans that the economy is in good shape, more than half of Americans believe a recession has already started, a new poll found.
The Economist/YouGov survey is the latest sign that Biden is in serious danger of becoming a one-term president.
Recession has arrived?
Of those who say the economy is in a recession, 54% said it is worse than the 2008 recession. Interestingly, just 36% of Biden voters and 45% of Democrats agree that a recession is here, despite 56% of all Americans sharing that view.
Public opinion is bleak indeed, with inflation at its highest level in forty years and tumbling stock markets wiping away trillions in retirement savings. The Fed is jacking interest rates to tame the crisis it helped create by cheapening the dollar, sparking concern that the monetary tightening will cause a downturn.
Democrats have flipflopped between claiming the economy is in recovery, despite public sentiment, and blaming inflation on greedy oil companies and Vladimir Putin.
Contrary to the lectures of MSNBC anchors and Biden’s own talking points touting falling unemployment, most Americans feel that high prices are the most reliable sign of a recession (54%), while just 19% said the same of jobs numbers.
Biden’s claim that domestic economic woes are not unique is also failing to make an impact, with 52% of Americans saying the U.S. economy is in bad shape, compared to just 37% who say the same of the world economy.
Biden on the ropes?
The poor economic outlook has dealt a serious blow to Biden’s popularity, imperiling not only his 2024 odds but the Democratic party’s narrow hold on Congress in the midterm elections.
The Economist/YouGov poll found that 51% disapprove of Biden’s job performance, including 38% who strongly disapprove.
The survey comes as Democrats have begun openly questioning whether Biden is a viable leader. The New York Times was first to report last week on “whispers” within the party about Biden’s age.
Biden is also contending with fairly widespread public skepticism of his legitimacy, with nearly 40% of Americans saying they do not think he won the 2020 election, and less than half saying that the January 6th committee’s investigation is legitimate, the Economist/YouGov survey found.
The recession fears have darkened Biden’s tone ever so slightly. Biden and his Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen have both said that a recession is “not inevitable,” which is hardly reassuring coming from the same people who once dismissed inflation as a “transitory” threat.