While polling averages are less-than-a-perfect measure — they take in lots and lots of polling data, of varying degrees of expertise and rigor — they do make clear that Biden has been on a downward trend. Gallup confirms the erosion in Biden’s support; as of late July his approval rating stood at 50%, the lowest of his term to date.
It also seems unlikely that Biden’s somewhat-freefall has stopped just yet.
Given all of that — and the at-times conflicting messages coming out of the Biden White House — it seems likely that the President’s approval numbers have not gotten as low as they might over the coming weeks.
But go back before Trump and the numbers are a bit more humbling for Biden. Roughly seven months into his first term, Barack Obama had a 59% approval rating in Gallup numbers while George W. Bush’s approval stood at 56%.
So what, you might say? Biden isn’t up for reelection for three more years! Plenty of time for his numbers to recover!
Which is, of course, true. But it also paints an incomplete picture of the impact of presidential approval on a president’s party.
“In Gallup’s polling history, presidents with job approval ratings below 50% have seen their party lose 37 House seats, on average, in midterm elections. That compares with an average loss of 14 seats when presidents had approval ratings above 50%.”
That history has plenty of Democratic candidates and party strategists nervously watching Biden’s latest poll slippage. He won’t have to face voters until 2024, but many of them will be on the ballot in less than 15 months and know that much of their fate lies in how the public perceives the job Biden is doing.
At the moment, there’s plenty of reason for concern.