Only 28 Percent of Independents Approve of Joe Biden Ahead of Likely Reelection Bid

US President Joe Biden speaks about the release of US women's basketball player Brittney Griner, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on December 8, 2022. - Biden said Thursday that Griner is "on her way home" after being freed from Russia in a prisoner swap …
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s approval rating among independents is below 30 percent as he considers launching a reelection campaign in the coming weeks.

Biden, who has said he has the “intention” to run for a second term, has a very low approval rating among independents, a key demographic in presidential elections.

Just 28 percent of independents approve of Biden, while 61 percent disapprove, a Civiqs poll found Thursday.

What is worse, Biden’s approval rating among young adult independents ages 18-34 is just 21 percent. Young adults are a key demographic, which Democrats won in the 2022 midterm elections. But Biden was not on the ticket.

Among female independents, Biden’s approval rating was only 31 percent. The Democrat Party did very well with women in the midterm election, likely due to the issue of abortion.

Among independents in all demographics except black voters, Biden’s approval rating was below 50 percent. His approval rating with black independents stands at 50 percent, with 33 percent disapproving.

The Civiqs poll averaged 295,820 responses tracked between January 20, 2021, and December 7, 2022. The Civiqs tracking model captures the shifts in attitudes of various groups over time across all 50 states and Washington, DC. These changes can happen either rapidly or over time.

Biden’s low approval rating among independents is notable as he weighs running for reelection against former President Donald Trump, whose favorability rating among the demographic is 36 percent. Fifty-three percent hold a negative view of Trump.

Many in the Democrat Party fear Biden is too old to run for reelection. He is currently the oldest president in US history.

“If he were 60 and not 80, there would be absolutely no doubt,” David Axelrod, former President Barack Obama’s chief strategist, told the New York Times.

Though some think Biden would be too old to hold office until he is 86, others don’t see much of an alternative to Biden after Republicans failed to deliver on a red wave in the November elections.

“Even if Biden was running for reelection, I think we could have seen a few people run against him. But now, I think he’s got a clear field.” Cooper Teboe, a Democrat strategist, told the Hill. “I think what the midterms did accomplish is they silenced that [opposition].”

One issue Democrats will face in 2024 is a shrinking turnout among black voters. According to a NYT analysis of the midterms, black turnout appeared to be 25 percent lower than white turnout, marking the lowest share of the black electorate since 2006. Black voters were a key demographic in Biden’s 2020 election win.

Turnout among young adults and women could also be a worrisome issue for Democrats. Without the benefit of abortion on the ballot in many states, as it was in 2022, young people and women may not feel as energized to vote as they were in 2022.

Still another worry for Democrats could be the Hispanic vote. To the Democrats’ chagrin, Gov. Ron DeSantis flipped Florida’s Miami-Dade County from blue to red in the midterms. The county had not turned red for a gubernatorial candidate since Jeb Bush won it during his 2002 reelection. With Hispanic support, DeSantis was reelected over Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) by nearly 20 points.

If Hispanics defect to Republicans nationwide, they could doom Biden’s chances of reelection.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.

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