President Biden, nine months into his presidency, is getting a clear verdict in public polls: America sees him similarly to the guy he beat — Donald Trump.
Why it matters: Independents are turning on Biden. Shocking numbers of people see the nation headed in the wrong direction. And people see incompetence and chaos.
By the numbers: An NBC News poll out this morning finds 54% of Americans disapprove of Biden’s performance — on the brink of midterms, and as he’s trying to close the deal on a historic expansion of government.
- “Biden’s favorable/unfavorable rating in the poll (40 percent positive, 48 percent negative) is almost identical to Trump’s in the same survey (38 percent positive, 50 percent negative),” NBC reports.
71% in the NBC poll — including 70% of independents and even 48% of Democrats — believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction.
- An especially worrisome stat for the White House: Just 18% strongly approve of Biden, while nearly half (46%) strongly disapproval.
The big picture: Gallup says Biden’s 42% approval rating is the lowest for any president in October of their first year going back to Dwight Eisenhower in 1953 — except Trump, who was at 37%.
Zoom in: FiveThirtyEight’s poll tracker has Biden at 51% disapprove.
- Real Clear Politics has him at 52% disapproval.
Between the lines: Biden faces signs the U.S. is turning against big government — just as he’s trying to make government much bigger:
- Gallup reported this month that 52% of Americans said government is “trying to do too many things” — a flip from last year, when a majority said government should be doing more to solve problems.
- National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar points out this reflects historical American patterns: “Aside from a surge of pro-government sentiment during the pandemic, majorities of Americans going back decades have favored more restrained government.”
The bottom line: Polls are consistently showing Americans in a downbeat mood about their reality — and their president. Like with Trump, it’s only diehard party loyalists who seem into the man in charge.
POLL: Voters have increasing doubts about Biden health, mental fitness
A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows just 44 percent of voters approve of Biden’s job performance, and 46 percent say he’s “mentally fit.”
Voters have increasing doubts about the health and mental fitness of President Joe Biden, the oldest man ever sworn into the White House, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.
Only 40 percent of voters surveyed agreed with the statement that Biden “is in good health,” while 50 percent disagreed. That 10-percentage-point gap — outside the poll’s margin of error — represents a massive 29-point shift since October 2020, when Morning Consult last surveyed the question and found voters believed Biden was in good health by a 19-point margin.
Asked whether Biden is mentally fit, voters are almost evenly split, with 46 percent saying he is and 48 percent disagreeing. But that negative 2-point margin stands in stark contrast to Biden’s numbers lastOctober, when voters believed he was mentally fit by a 21-point margin.https://bea6cc9e18caeb2dfe24debcd71c41b2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
The poll questions are part of a long battery of attributes about which voters were asked to rate Biden — the same battery employed multiple times during Donald Trump’s presidency, and asked about both candidates last fall, prior to the 2020 presidential election.
The new polling comes amid persistent questions about whether Biden — who turns 79 on Saturday — will run for reelection in threeyears and as Democrats have grown increasingly concerned with the party’s gerontocracy. Biden says he will run again, but some longtime allies have raised doubts. Even “Saturday Night Live” recently ribbed Biden over whether he was “lucid.”
The most intense scrutiny of Biden’s age and his verbal miscues had previouslybeen limited to conservative news outlets and social media, said Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster who has surveyed for Biden.
“They’re running a very aggressive campaign on this, and it’s bleeding over into the mainstream a little,” Lake said. “By and large, the people who believe this are Trump supporters anyway or they’ve been exposed to the right-wing disinformation machine.”
To Lake’s point, the Morning Consult poll generally shows that Trump voters and Republicans generally believe Biden is neither physically nor mentally fit, and Biden voters believe the opposite. However, independents — by a margin of 23 points — don’t agree that Biden is mentally fit now.
Before last year’s election, independents and voters overall believed Biden was more physically and mentally fit than Trump, whose mismanagement of the pandemic damaged his campaign as the Biden campembraced social distancing and mostly eschewed large events.
But with Trump gone as a foil for now, Biden is more in the spotlight than ever, and his overall approval rating began collapsing with the bloody withdrawal from Afghanistan. The ravages of the coronavirus Delta variant, congressional squabbling and public perceptions about the economy also contributed to Biden’s troubles.
The new Morning Consult poll shows 44 percent give Biden a positive job approval rating and 53 percent disapprove. Biden’s approval rating is essentially unchanged over the past two weeks — it was 46 percent last week and 45 percent the week prior — since the passage of the infrastructure bill in Congress earlier this month.
A recent Harvard-Harris poll found that 53 percent of voters said they had doubts about Biden’s fitness and 47 percent did not. Asked if Biden is too old to be president, 58 percent said he was and 42 percent said he was fit enough.
PolitiFact Refuses to Correct Claim that Rittenhouse Illegally Possessed Gun After Judge Dismisses Charge
The “fact-checking” outlet Politifact is defending its August 2020 claim that Kyle Rittenhouse’s possession of an AR-15 was not “perfectly legal,” even though the gun charge against Rittenhouse was dismissed by Judge Bruce Schroeder.
On August 28, 2020 – just three days after Rittenhouse had used the rifle on the streets of Kenosha – Politifact Wisconsin tweeted, “A Facebook post says, ‘At 17 years old Kyle (Rittenhouse) was perfectly legal to be able to possess that rifle without parental supervision.’ That’s False.”
The tweet linked to a PolitiFact article, which said:
In an Aug. 27 post, one Facebook user said it was “perfectly legal” for Kyle Rittenhouse — who was arrested in Antioch, Ill., after fleeing Wisconsin — to brandish an assault-style rifle on the streets of Kenosha.
“Carrying a rifle across state lines is perfectly legal,” the poster said. “Based on the laws I can find of this area at 17 years old Kyle was perfectly legal to be able to possess that rifle without parental supervision.”
The PolitiFact article zeroed in on the phrase “perfectly legal” and opined, “Is that true? State law suggests not.”
Whether Rittenhouse violated Wisconsin law by possessing a firearm underage is the subject of ongoing litigation. But the Facebook post claimed that it was “perfectly legal” for the teenager to carry an assault-style rifle in Kenosha.
At best, that’s unproven. At worst, it’s inaccurate. Either way, we rate the post False.
On November 15, 2021, Breitbart News noted that Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the firearms charge against Rittenhouse, siding with the Defense’s claim that the law is only applicable if Rittenhouse carried a Short Barrel Rifle (SBR).
The prosecution admitted that Rittenhouse was not carrying an SBR.
Despite the dismissal, PolitiFact is standing by its claim that it is “false” to say Rittenhouse’s possession was “perfectly legal.”
The day after Schroeder dismissed the gun charge PolitiFact added an editor’s note to its piece. The note pointed to Associated Press reporting, Wisconsin lawmakers’ intentions, and claims that PolitiFact knew all along that there was a possible exception for rifles.
The editor’s note ended by saying, “These subsequent events show the grey areas of local gun laws — hardly a case of something being ‘perfectly legal.’ Our fact-check remains unchanged.”