POLITICO — In a focus group last week, Pennsylvania Democrats one after another articulated the issue vexing top White House aides, party operatives in Virginia and voters in Georgia: Why isn’t President Joe Biden’s diminished job rating rebounding?
All nine participants from Tuesday’s session gave Biden C- grades or lower. And their answers circled back to a similar point: The pandemic and the many ways it continues to hinder normal life is souring their views of Biden.
One woman said she wanted to buy a car but supply chain issues were delaying new shipments to the dealership. A man complained about understaffed restaurants.
Sarah Longwell, a moderate Republican strategist who became a vocal supporter of Biden in 2020, and led the focus group of Democratic voters, said:
“There is a malaise. People don’t feel like their lives have been improved. They did sort of feel that promises aren’t being kept.”
Nearly nine months into office, Biden and his team contend that the ravages of the pandemic are starting to recede due to his actions.
They point to polling showing strong support for his legislative agenda, anchored by physical infrastructure and social and climate spending packages. They note how rare it’s been for Democratic lawmakers to break ranks, even during this current, difficult period.
But Biden’s standing with Americans has plummeted, with his average approval rating plunging by nearly 15 points since late June. He’s seen a drop among Democrats and even more with Republicans, but the decline has been particularly steep among independent voters.
In the same time period, the president has scrambled to salvage his domestic initiatives amid infighting among Democrats over their size and sequencing.
He has presided over a chaotic and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan and faced criticism for his response to the inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
But it’s the pandemic that looms over it all, making it all the more difficult for the White House to turn back the slide … READ MORE.