This Monday morning we wake up to this political news. From FNC: “Among the topline numbers, according to USA Today/Suffolk University, are a 37.8% approval rating for Biden with a 59% disapproval – more than 11 points underwater. Forty-six percent of those included in the survey said Biden has done a worse job than expected, and 64% said they don’t want Biden to run for reelection…Harris has just a 27.8% approval rating with 51.2% disapproving of her performance in office, according to USA Today/Suffolk University. That is more than 23 percentage points underwater.”
And Congress? “Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, may face an uphill battle to preserve their razor-thin majorities unless something significant changes before Election Day on Nov. 8, 2022. The USA Today/Suffolk University poll gives Republicans a 46%-to-38% advantage on a generic congressional ballot.”
Now while that is cause for celebrating the wisdom of the American voter, let’s remember that past presidents have had bad poll numbers early in their administrations and went on to reelection. Reagan, Clinton, Bush the Younger, and Obama all had bad numbers at one time or another in their first term. All bounced back to win reelection. Bush the Elder had an over 90 percent approval rating the year before reelection, right after Desert Storm, and lost reelection.
What are the factors on the horizon that could affect the 2024 presidential and congressional races? Always number one, the economy. Remember the economy, if you’re old enough, in 1982? Not great. But by 1983 it had recovered and Reagan went on to a 1984 landslide win. Well, the economy is stagnant now. Not horrible, but bad. The supply chain issue is very bad. Was at a winery yesterday and the owner told me he couldn’t get bottles. My son, who is an engineer for a food company, told me his firm can’t get essential ingredients.
Can this turn around by next November to save the Democrats? Doubtful. But can it and other economic issues do a 180 by November 2024? Yes. It may not, but it can. Also high on voters’ minds will be national security. Here is a Biden Achilles heel.
He is seen as weak and decrepit across the globe. The Taliban proved it. The Russians, Chinese, and Iranians are taking advantage of it just as we predicted last year. They know they have a window until January 2025 to act. That means Ukraine, Taiwan, and Iraq are all in danger. After Afghanistan, if we take another international humiliation voters will take it out on Joe Biden and the Democrats at the ballot box. It will happen after the midterms, after which Biden is further weakened.
There are other factors, like the candidates on both tickets. But the respective party teams will have to contest the presidential and congressional races in an issues environment. Presently, the smart goes with the Republicans on that. But like every else in politics, that can change overnight.