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'Buyer's remorse': Democrats face electoral headwinds in swing states as Biden's job approval sinks

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President Joe Biden is facing a downturn with voters that could hurt Democrats in electoral races and collapse the party's congressional majority in the midterm elections, according to pollsters and strategists.

The erosion across a slew of new battleground polls “speaks volumes about the challenges Democrats are going to have in 2022,” said Republican pollster Robert Blizzard. He said Biden has failed to propose a vision that unites voters across the political spectrum like he vowed upon taking office.

Independent voters who “held their nose” to vote for Biden “are seeing what they got, they’re not liking it,” he said.


Biden faces dismal job approval ratings in several battleground states, including Michigan, Virginia, and Iowa, where the president garnered the lowest score since George W. Bush in 2008 in a survey this week.

Fewer than one-third of Iowans approve of Biden's job as president at 31%, compared to 62% who disapprove, according to a Sept. 12-15 poll for the Des Moines Register/Mediacom by Selzer & Co. Seven percent said they were unsure.

While the president’s handling of COVID-19 is his highest approval rating on a policy issue at 36% approval, the number fell 17 percentage points from 53% approval in June. His recent vaccine mandate and Afghanistan drawdown both faced sharp rebuke.

“This is a bad poll for Joe Biden, and it’s playing out in everything that he touches right now,” pollster J. Ann Selzer told the Register.

The poll of 805 Iowans has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

A Trump adviser in the state said Selzer “gets it right” — and that he had shared the poll with his team.

Iowa Republican strategist Luke Martz called the latest numbers “devastating” for Democrats in the state. And Biden’s plummet was “jaw-dropping.”

The poll, which arrived not long before former President Donald Trump returns to Iowa for an Oct. 9 rally, is likely to set Democrats on edge.

Biden is attempting to knit his caucus together as Democratic lawmakers threaten to sink his sweeping infrastructure and social spending proposals.

“Biden’s biggest problem is not Republicans that dislike him,” Martz said. “His biggest problem right now is that Democrats dislike him. He can’t get his own party on the same page.”

In Michigan, Biden’s support has taken a similar dive.

In an Aug. 31-Sept. 3 survey conducted by the Glengariff Group, 39% of registered voters said they approved of Biden’s job performance, compared to 53% who disapprove and 8% with no opinion. Among voters who felt strongly, Biden is underwater by more than 22 percentage points, 44.5% compared to 22%.

Contributing to Biden’s decline is a 32 percentage point drop since May with lean-Democrat voters and an 11 percentage point drop with independents.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. It was commissioned by the Detroit Regional Chamber, whose political action committee endorsed Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, in her 2018 race for governor.

Parallel to Biden’s slip is a broader Democratic slide. In recent generic congressional ballots, Republicans have pulled ahead or landed in a dead heat with Democrats.

In governor’s races, Biden is running behind Democratic allies who would otherwise hope to lean on his support.

In Virginia, where Biden won the 2020 presidential race by 19 percentage points, a Washington Post-Schar School poll showed gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, the state's former Democratic governor seeking reelection, running behind Republican Glenn Youngkin with independents, 44% to 52%. McAuliffe has a 6 percentage point lead over Youngkin, 49% to 43% among registered voters. In July, Biden stumped for McAuliffe, the state’s governor from 2014 to 2018.

“There’s an intensity deficit here for the Democrats compared to where they were … during the Trump era,” Mark Rozell, dean of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, which co-sponsored the poll, told the Washington Post. “This tells me it’s a toss-up election right now.”


Biden’s performance in office is underwater in the state, with 46% approving and 51% disapproving. Three percent had no opinion.

In Michigan, approval of Whitmer’s performance in office holds a narrow 2 percentage point lead, 50% compared to 48% disapproval, according to the Glengariff Group poll. In September 2020, 59% of voters approved of her job handling. The decline has mainly occurred among independent voters.

Blizzard said the recent battleground polls “are a reminder that the 2020 presidential election was a referendum on Donald Trump.” But that foil has lost power while Biden's record in office grows.

“Eight, nine months in, this is very much the Biden White House, the Biden agenda, the Biden administration,” Blizzard said. “And there’s a lot of buyer’s remorse right now among independent voters.”

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Tags: News, Biden Administration, Joe Biden, White House, Iowa, Virginia, Michigan, Campaigns, 2022 Elections

Original Author: Katherine Doyle

Original Location: 'Buyer's remorse': Democrats face electoral headwinds in swing states as Biden's job approval sinks

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