The Biden administration’s hopes to benefit from a rebounding economy have been thrown into doubt by a poll indicating that views of economic conditions have turned for the worse in Wisconsin, a key battleground state in the midterm elections next year.
A poll of Wisconsin registered voters found that just 23 percent say the economy has improved over the past year, with 51 percent saying the economy is worse than it was a year ago. Twenty-two percent say it is the same.
Only 30 percent expect the economy to improve over the coming year. Forty-three percent say it will worsen. Twenty-five percent expect no change.
Inflation is a big worry. Twenty-five percent say they are “very concerned” about inflation. Another 18 percent say they are “somewhat” concerned. Six percent so they are not too concerns and two percent say they are not concerned about inflation at all.
Biden’s handling of the economy gets more demerits than gold stars. Just 46 percent say they approve, while 48 percent say they disapprove. In the last statewide poll that asked about approval of the president’s handling of the economy—taken in October 2020—Trump got 51 percent approval.
It’s remarkable how much hope has faded. In that October 2020 poll, forty-five percent said they expected the economy to improve over the next year and just 13 percent expected it to get worse. The current conditions metric is almost unchanged, with 24 percent saying in October 2020 that things have become better over the last year and 54 percent saying the economy was worse.
In other words, the public’s views of the economy’s current conditions have not improved during the Biden administration and expectations have become far grimmer.
Thirty-eight percent say they strongly disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy, with another ten percent saying they somewhat disapprove. Biden gets 23 percent on both somewhat and strongly approving.
Trump has 40 percent strong approval and 36 percent strong disapproval. The somewhat approve and somewhat disapprove were each at 11 percent.
The poor showing of Biden on economic numbers will be welcome news to Republicans looking to the 2022 elections. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) is a top target of Democrats and holding his seat is viewed by political strategists as crucial to Republican hopes to regain control of the Senate.
Unfortunately for Johnson, his favorability rating dropped 6 points. Just 35 percent say they approve of Johnson and 42 percent say they disapprove. The state’s Senate Democrat, Tammy Baldwin, saw her approval rating drop by four points. But at 40 percent approve and 39 percent disapprove, she remains above after. Baldwin is not up for election until 2024.
Republicans also hope to take back the governor’s mansion. Governor Tony Evers scored a 50 percent approval rating, with 21 percent strongly approving. He gets 43 percent share of registered disapproving of his job performance, including a 32 percent strongly disapproving.
President Joe Biden’s approval is narrower, split between 49 percent approving and 46 percent disapproving, highlighting how divisive the Biden president has been. His strongly approve number, however, is just 26 percent. His strongly disapprove share is 38 percent.
In the 2020 election, Biden had a commanding lead over Trump in most polls in Wisconsin. The November Morning Consult poll had Biden at 54 percent and Trump at 41 percent. The numbers were so bad that they discouraged Trump’s campaign from focusing on the state. The actual results were much closer, with Biden winning 49.45 percent of the vote and Trump getting 48.82 percent.
If the Marquette poll is similarly exaggerating support for Biden, his actual approval numbers could be underwater.