by UnHerd Staff
Thursday, 20
January 2022
Chart
07:44

How America turned against the Democrats

Five charts illustrate how Joe Biden lost his advantage in one year
by UnHerd Staff
Credit: Getty

It’s exactly one year since the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. 

But judging from the opinion polls it’s not a happy anniversary for either Biden or his party. Consider his approval ratings. Unlike Donald Trump, Joe Biden began the year with more people approving than disapproving of his Presidency. But by the end of the summer his ratings had turned negative. 

Credit: FiveThirtyEight

Kamala Harris’s ratings have also turned negative over the course of the last year. If anything, the Vice President is even more unpopular than her boss:

Net favourability since inauguration. Credit: LA Times

There’s bad news for the Democrats as a party too. This week, Gallup published research that reveals a dramatic turn around during 2021. At the start of the year, the Democrats had a nine point lead on party identification/leaning. However, the Republicans then closed the gap and carried on going — finishing the year five points in front.

Credit: Gallup

Writing for the Washington Post, Henry Olsen points out just how unusual it is for the Republicans to be ahead on this measure. Democrat domination of party affiliation has an all-but-unbroken record stretching back to the 1930s.

Credit: Pew

It remains to be seen whether the developments of 2021 represent a lasting shift in American politics. Biden’s first year had been marked by some unusually disruptive events like the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the supply chain crisis and the Omicron wave. If the next three years are less crisis-ridden, then Democrat fortunes could improve. 

However, there are some trends that could bring permanent change to American politics. Democrats will be especially anxious about the Hispanic vote. A poll last month for the Wall Street Journal found that Hispanic voters were equally split between the Democrats and Republicans.

Credit: WSJ

According to the Pew Research Centre, Hispanics in 2020 voted for Biden over Trump by 59% to 38%. If this group is now equally divided between Democrats and Republicans then that would be a massive change (even allowing for the general slide in Biden’s popularity). However, as a direction of travel, it would be consistent with a longer-term trend. Trump may have lost in 2020, but compared to his 2016 result he made significant gains among ethnic minority voters. 

It’s a reminder that the changes in public opinion that took place last year can’t just be explained by the events of that year. They are part of a much longer, and perhaps unexpected, story. 

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Graham Stull
Graham Stull
6 months ago

Vaccine mandates have been incredibly unpopular, especially for moderate voters. This seeps through to the deepest ranks of the Democratic base: the unions. Local unions (police and firefighters) almost unanimously opposed the imposition of vaccine mandates on their members. The other group that the Dems have isolated with these policies are African Americans, who are majority unvaxxed and remain very skeptical of mandates, reasonably so given the history they have endured at the hands of the CDC. The mainstream media never covered it, but there have been numerous protest marches by BLM – yes BLM – against the vaccine passports in NYC. When your have succeeded in united the MAGA crowd and BLM in the same protest march, you know you have misplayed your hand.
Other big issue Americans won’t forget: The Afghanistan withdrawal was perceived as a total debacle. It showed the Biden Administration for what is considered worse than corruption and malfeance: It showed them as incompetent. And we saw what happened to Carter over the Iran hostage situation. Right now, Biden looks like Carter the Sequel.

Brendan Kenny
Brendan Kenny
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Excellent additional contributions to the discussion. Thanks.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

“Carter the Sequel”. That sounds like a good title for a movie!

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

The neo-Marxist, neo-Trotskyite, Teachers Unions loved the mandates though. Cannot get enough masks – and especially, enough days sat at home on full pay and benefits, wile the children suffer mental stresses, and lost education which will greatly decrease their lifetime earnings, and set back The Western economic advantage even more, and thus advancing the cause of the Far East.

They Love Biden, and the Squad, and are the useful idiots bringing about the destruction of our society.

Matt M
Matt M
6 months ago

Things it turns out Trump was right about:

  1. the existential threat of the rise of China and the idiocy of the US trade policy that allowed it
  2. the pernicious effect of political correctness
  3. the need to reshore manufacturing both for employment and secure supply chains
  4. the need for a physical barrier between Mexico and the US and reform of the asylum rules
  5. the need to increase funding for the military
  6. the need to get out of the middle east wars
  7. the need to increase fossil fuel production in North America to achieve energy independence
  8. the warp-speed investment in covid vaccines and medicines

Now we can add his observation that Sleepy Joe is incapable of running the country to the list.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

That makes nine! But not an exclusive nine. There are so many more! 😉

Matt M
Matt M
6 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

What amazes me is how many of those things were all but unsayable in 2016 yet are now mainstream. Talking about bringing industry back to the USA or putting up trade barriers to China was unthinkable to Dem and GOP politicians alike. Now reshoring is a core principle of every western government.
Compare Trump’s policy prescription to Clinton’s advocacy of China to join the WTO or Bush’s wars or Obama’s Russian Reset or Iran Nuclear Deal.

Last edited 6 months ago by Matt M
AC Harper
AC Harper
6 months ago

Let me see…
You criticise all Whites as racists
You condescend to all Blacks as needing government help
You import lots of people to take existing Hispanic jobs
You make a mess of COVID
You run out of Afghanistan with no care for the consequences
You criticise a rowdy mob of planned insurrection
Cities experience increased lawlessness with reduced police response
…and then you are surprised that people don’t like you anymore.

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
6 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Right on all points – and the most precious part is that, in yesterday’s press conference (first in months), he denied that his policies and practices can be improved (let alone that he’s made a debacle out of everything he touches), claimed that he “over performed” (when asked why he underperformed) and decided it’s full steam ahead with his unpopular antics and policies. November should be a wipeout for the Dem’s (maybe the R’s in congress will impeach him for the High Crimes and Misdemeanors of selling his office(s) for the advantage of his drug addict goofy kid and for “The Big Guy”!

James Joyce
James Joyce
6 months ago

The only advantage that Joe Biden had was that he was not Donald Trump. What people overlooked because some grew tired of a boorish vulgarian in the White House, though I applauded this violation of political norms, is that Biden is a very mean and nasty guy (i.e. threatening to run over a female reporter with a truck and many other gaffes), and this has been exacerbated by his age and severe cognitive decline. People projected nice things on Biden merely because he was not Trump, but they were wildly wrong to do so. That Biden was able to hide in his basement in Delaware instead of exposing his weaknesses (he has no strengths) aided him immeasurably.
I detest the fragmentization of the American electorate that these charts claim to represent. I find them divisive, not helpful. Can’t we all be Americans first?
It is also a bit ironic that although the Democratic Party is completely anti-white, and especially anti-straight white male, anti-business, anti-capitalist, it is the Republican Party that is making gains among so-called minorities. Hatred of white people has mutated and become embedded in the DNA of the Democratic Party, but that has not necessarily translated into being embraced by so-called minorities. Perhaps they are looking at policies that serve them better, and rejecting the victimization and division that is fundamental to the Democratic Party, and or have left repressive countries and recognize the rise of totalitarianism when they see it.
Let’s hope that this is a profound and lasting change, and I write this as someone who hates Democrats and hates Republicans (in no sense is Trump a true Republican, as he has broken the mold) almost equally, though I hate the Rs a bit less because they do not hate straight white men.
Let’s Go Brandon!

Last edited 6 months ago by James Joyce
Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
6 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

First of all, thanks for your comprehensive response. You’re on point, mostly. But “I hate Dems, and I hate Republicans?” Really? Hate gives your enemies space in your head rent-free. It’s not worth it!

James Joyce
James Joyce
6 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

You are indeed correct, at least partially so. I try to resist the “hate,” but I usually can’t. A bit like the Kevin Kline character in A FISH CALLED WANDA who must apologize but can’t.
In my defense, I don’t think my enemies occupy too much head space, but they are the enemy, once must know the enemy, and I do hate the enemy. I only added that bit to show that I am not a rabid Republican–or any other type, as I am not a Republic at all….

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
6 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Apples not falling far from the tree….lets go Hunter….

AC Harper
AC Harper
6 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

This:

People projected nice things on Biden merely because he was not Trump, but they were wildly wrong to do so.

…and now find it very difficult to admit their error, despite all the evidence that sneaks out under the MSM pro-Biden reporting. And there is some criticism of Biden now appearing in the previously pro-Biden media. A trickle rather than a flood, at the moment, but the media amplifies the latest narrative. None will want to be ‘on the wrong side’ at the mid-term elections.

Rose D
Rose D
6 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

And the Rs know a woman is an adult human female. The Dems think it’s whoever “identifies” – whatever the H that means – as one. Oh and that kids can be born in the wrong bodies.

Last edited 6 months ago by Rose D
Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
6 months ago

The Democrats have never been anything other than race hustlers from the day they were founded. Maybe people are simply seeing through them at last.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
6 months ago

The Republican party was the primary mover behind giving Blacks in America the vote, passing Amendments to the Constitution, the Voting Right Act, etc. It didn’t help them very much with Blacks, oddly enough, who vote nearly lockstep for Dems about 90% of the time. Curious, isn’t it?

James Joyce
James Joyce
6 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Yes, but in fairness to FMac, the Rs were on side with the blacks in about 1870. Hard to recognize any party from that time. It seems the blacks shifted their allegiance in the 20th Century, perhaps with the Great Migration (north), perhaps with FDR promising to remake society. Sound familiar?

Rose D
Rose D
6 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Someone should write a book on how that happened – if there isn’t one already.

James Joyce
James Joyce
6 months ago

Very true for the past 50 or 60 years or so. I’d have to research how far back it goes….