Biden’s Poll Numbers Alarm Senate Democrats as Economic Messaging Falls Flat

US President Joe Biden speaks about his economic plan "Bidenomics" at Auburn Man

President Joe Biden’s poor poll numbers are alarming some Senate Democrats, with one senator saying, “There’s just no enthusiasm” behind Biden in their experiences with constituents, according to the Hill. 

“It does pretty much come down to ‘Well, he’s done a pretty good job, but he’s just too old,’” the senator claimed.

Vulnerable Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who is up for reelection this year, told the Hill that Democrats “got to be concerned about those poll numbers, you just do.”

“There’s plenty of time to get them back up. Whether he can or not, I just don’t know but you got to be concerned,” he added. 

WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES - MAY 11: Committee Chairman Senator Jon Tester speaks during the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense in Washington DC, United States on May 11, 2023. U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley and Department of Defense Comptroller Michael McCord testify during the subcommittee. (Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Committee Chairman Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) speaks during the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense in Washington DC, on May 11, 2023. (Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Biden’s average approval rating on Real Clear Politics pings at 42 percent, while a CBS/YouGov poll released Sunday morning showed his approval rating even lower, at 40 percent versus 60 percent who are unhappy with his performance. The poll was conducted between September 5-8 among 2,335 adults, and the margin of error (MOE) is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. 

Tester, who beat out Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) by 3.5 percentage points in 2018, signaled he was distancing himself from Biden as he heads into a contentious reelection battle that will play a substantial role in deciding the next Senate majority.

“The president is always a factor but I don’t think it’s a factor that’s going to make much of a difference for me,” he told the Hill of the presidential election influencing races down the ballot, including his own. “We tend to do our own thing.” 

His move away from Biden mirrors the messaging of some vulnerable House Democrats in swing districts, who have worked to distance themselves from the president, especially in regard to his “Bidenomics” branding. 

EV - MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 15: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to guests at Ingeteam Inc., an electrical equipment manufacturer, on August 15, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Biden used the opportunity to speak about his "Bidenomics" economic plan on the one-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden speaks to guests at Ingeteam Inc., an electrical equipment manufacturer, on August 15, 2023, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

For instance, Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA) told the Washington Post in August she is “not really big on catchphrases.”

“If you use the term, ‘Bidenomics,’ but somebody can’t afford their groceries, then they’re like, ‘Yeah, Bidenomics isn’t working for me,’” she said.

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Rep. Gabe Vasquez (D-NM) shared a similar sentiment when speaking with Politico.

“I’m hyper-focused on the district. I think the most important job that a congressperson can do is first listen and then react,” Vasquez told the outlet. “And so I’m not going to go into my district pushing a Democratic agenda that people don’t feel is happening on the ground.” 

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), who is not up for reelection, struck a different tone about Biden’s polling in the Hill article, fussing that voters do not understand inflation has come down. While inflation is down in the short term, the buying power of $1.00 in July 2023 has dropped dramatically since former President Donald Trump left office. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, $1.00 in July 2023 had the same buying power as $0.86 in January 2021. 

Then-President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at the Knapp Center on the campus of Drake University, January 30, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

The Hill noted that some Democrats in the Senate, such as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), are banking on the potential Republican nomination of Trump to get Biden reelected, asserting he is off-putting to independents and moderates in his own party. 

However, the RealClearPolitics polling average of a hypothetical head-to-head matchup between Trump and Biden suggests a neck-and-neck race. Trump, who has been indicted four times this year, trails by just .4 percentage points. 

What is more, a CNN/SSRS poll published on September 7 shows that seven Republican presidential candidates, including Trump, lead Biden in hypothetical head-to-head matchups, signaling Biden is vulnerable. 

Trump leads Biden 47 percent to 46 percent, while former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) holds a six-point advantage over Biden in their hypothetical head-to-head matchup, according to the CNN/SSRS poll.

The full survey was taken from August 25 to 31, among 1,503 respondents with an MOE of plus or minus 3.5 percent.


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