It’s that time of year. In the lead up to the mid-term elections, get ready to see a lot of polling.
I talked about the lack of confidence we have in our institutions yesterday. That’s from a recent Gallup survey.
Now comes a New York Times/Siena College poll. First of all, the headline: 64% of Democratic voters prefer a candidate other than President Biden in 2024. More about that in a bit.
This though, caught my attention from the Times: Only 13 percent of American voters say the nation is on the right track. That’s the lowest point in the paper’s polling since the depths of the financial crises more than a decade ago.
More than three-quarters of registered voters see the U.S. moving in the wrong direction. The Times says there is “a pervasive sense of pessimism that spans every corner of the country, every age range and racial group, cities, suburbs, and rural areas, as well as both political parties.”
What’s happened? Jobs. Inflation. The cost of living. Gas prices. This reminds me of something President Clinton’s campaign strategist James Carville said in 1992: “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Back then, Clinton used the economy to unseat George H.W. Bush and get elected President.
I’m beginning to think that as much as we all want to think that social issues like gun violence and women’s reproductive rights are our biggest concerns… at the end of the day, it’s the economy.
In fact, in the Times poll, more than 75 percent of voters say the economy is “extremely important” to them. 93% rate it poor or only fair.
Let’s circle back now to President Biden. All this can’t be good news for a sitting President. Whether the economy is his fault or not, he’s gotta to own it.
Now, even his fellow Democrats are saying it might be time for a different candidate in 2024. Why? Same New York Times/Sienna College Poll.
President Biden’s age is the chief concern. He will be two week’s shy of his 82nd birthday on Election Day. The other big issue is Biden’s job performance. It’s followed by “prefer someone new.”
Some good news for President Biden on this survey. He beats President Trump in a rematch. 44 percent to 41 percent.
And here’s something interesting. Voters like Joe Biden, the person, more than they like Joe Biden, the President. 39 percent say they have a favorable opinion of him. That’s six points higher than his job approval numbers.
Like I said, it’s polling season. It’s the first of many. The numbers will no doubt change. And as we have learned many times before, what a person tells a pollster isn’t necessarily how they feel in the voting booth.