A new NPR/PBS/Marist College poll measuring President Joe Biden’s first year in office revealed “brutal” numbers that could spell disaster for the Democrats’ chances of holding their already-tight margins in the House and Senate in this year’s midterm elections, CNN said in an analysis Saturday.
“If the public’s report card on Biden’s second year in office is anything like the one for his first year, Democrats can kiss their House and Senate majorities goodbye,” CNN Editor-at-Large Chris Cillizza writes in his breakdown of the poll’s findings.
The poll revealed that more than half of Americans, or 56%, called the president’s first year in office a “failure,” with 39% calling it successful.
Democrats, by 80%, called the first year a success, but 15% labeled it as a failure. In addition, two-thirds of independents panned Biden’s first year, and 91% of Republicans agreed.
Cillizza noted that asking whether the president succeeded or failed in his first year left no room for nuance and that often, “a president is judged in one way during his time in office and in another after he leaves, once the impacts of his policies come into clearer focus.”
But still, elections force voters to choose between parties and to choose whether to vote for an incumbent or a challenger, he writes, adding that such poll numbers are “extremely problematic” for Democrats this fall.
“We know that, historically, the first midterm election of a president’s term is a referendum on his time in office up to that point,” said Cillizza.
Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll, said the results reveal “rock-bottom numbers” about Biden that went “about as low as you’re going to see him.”
The poll also revealed that 54% of respondents don’t believe Biden fulfilled his campaign promises, and another 52% said the president has done more to divide the nation than to unite it, which goes against his campaign’s promise to unite the country.
Overall, the results showed Biden has a 39% approval rating, with 36% approving of how he is handling the economy and 47% approval of how he has handled the coronavirus pandemic.
The poll’s respondents also panned Biden for how he has been handling the situation between Russia and Ukraine. The survey was taken before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, but just 34% approved of how he has handled the Ukraine crisis, with 50% disapproving.
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