Polls paint a dismal picture of the state of US politics
Americans are frustrated with nearly everyone and everything in national politics, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.
Joe Biden’s job approval rating, which has been steadily sinking throughout the year, hit a new low of 31%, worse even than Trump’s 38% approval at a similar time in his presidency. On every individual issue save for the coronavirus, Biden is underwater, including on the single most important issue to voters, the economy, where the president’s approval sits at a paltry 28%. Seventy-one percent of Americans, and 54% of Democrats, say they do not want to see Biden run again in 2024.
One of the stories of 2022 has been the ongoing realignment of the political parties, with Democrats becoming whiter and more affluent and Republicans becoming more Hispanic and working class. With white voters, Biden’s approval rating is 18 points higher among those with a college degree than those without (41% vs. 23%), and his approval among Hispanics is a truly abysmal 19% — worse even than among white men (22%), traditionally the most conservative group in the country.
That might sound like good news for Republicans, but the discontent is general. Approval of Congressional Republicans sits at 23%, and the numbers for Congressional Democrats — 30% approve vs. 63% disapprove — are not much better. Approval for the conservative-dominated Supreme Court, which overturned Roe v. Wade in June, sits at 39% among registered voters, the lowest number ever recorded by Quinnipiac. The narrow Republican lead on which party Americans say want to control Congress has evaporated since June, with Democrats now showing a slight edge in the House and the parties deadlocked in the Senate. And Trump, while slightly more popular than Biden, remains widely disliked. By a 55-37 margin, Americans said they had an “unfavourable” impression of the former president, compared to 58-35 for Biden, and 64% said they do not want Trump to run again.
All told, the poll paints a fairly dismal picture of the state of US politics. Americans do not like or trust the president, the former president, the vice-president, Congress, the Supreme Court, or either major political party. They are pessimistic about inflation and the economy, and nearly half, 47%, say they are personally worried about being the victim of a mass shooting.
That said, the most likely scenario for 2024 remains that Biden will be the Democratic nominee for president and Trump will be the Republican (69% of Republicans want him to run again). In that event, we’ll be treated to two despised, doddering old men competing to govern an increasingly fractious and mistrustful country. It’s a good reminder that however bad things are now, they can always get a lot worse.