Biden poll uptick likely less than meets the eye: The Note
The latest /Washington Post poll contains a rare dose of bright news for Democrats – a president with an approval rate nosing up, and the party back to parity with Republicans on the generic congressional ballot.
But the reality, barely six months out from the midterms, remains grim for the party in power. That’s evident both inside the same polling numbers and in the pending legislative agenda that continues to pit different segments of the Democratic base against themselvesPresident Joe Biden gained 5 percentage points in his overall approval rating since February in the Post polling, but remains underwater by 10 points, 42-52% approve-disapprove. Democrats clawed back 10 points in congressional preference since last November, to a 46-45% virtual tie among all voters and a 42-42% deadlock among independents, yet that’s a good measure beneath levels that historically have led to Democrats controlling the House.On what might be the single biggest issue, a whopping 94% say they’re either “upset” or “concerned” by inflation. Biden’s approval rating on that issue is upside-down by 40 points, 28-68% approve-disapprove, while Republicans hold a 19-point edge on trust to handle inflation and 14 points on handling the economy.
The new poll shows relative strength for the president on handling the war in Ukraine and COVID. But while Biden is framing his latest massive spending asks on both fronts as urgent, both could snag on intra-party divisions on immigration and Title 42 in Congress, as Democrats fear the same forces at play in this poll and more.
The president poked fun at his polling at Saturday’s White House Correspondents Association dinner: “I’m really excited to be here tonight with the only group of Americans with a lower approval rating than I have.”
Democrats have been looking for positive signs to shape their messaging. With midterm voting starting in earnest this week, it’s not yet clear that the