Select Page

This post was originally published on this site

Democrats are already beginning to calculate the potential cost to the party in 2022. Over drinks on the sidelines of a recent meeting of the Democratic Governors Association in Aspen, Colo., party donors and operatives privately took stock of the damage that Afghanistan and the resurging coronavirus pandemic might hold for the party’s prospects in the midterm elections next year. The assessment was bleak.

“When Biden was elected, it was supposed to be, ‘Oh, the adults are back in the room to take charge,’” one strategist who was in Aspen said. “It turns out, we can’t do anything. Any Democratic strategist who thinks this is not going to impact the midterms or impact Biden being reelected, clearly they don’t know what the f— they’re talking about.”

Biden’s sagging approval rating is especially alarming to Democrats because a president’s approval rating is closely correlated with a party’s performance in the midterms.

Biden’s approval ratings, which have sunk to the mid-40s, stand about where Clinton’s did at this point in his presidency, and they are worse than Obama’s in 2009, before his self-described “shellacking” in the midterms the following year. Democrats today hold a slimmer majority in Congress than either of those presidents had, with less margin for error in the next midterm elections. And that was before a summer in which nothing seemed to go right.

On Friday, Biden was forced to respond to the release of a weak August jobs report. Then it was off to Louisiana, where he surveyed hurricane damage. The Caldor Fire that was scorching the Lake Tahoe region slowed over the weekend. But new wildfires were burning in California and on Tuesday he was visiting storm-ravaged areas of New York and New Jersey. The Delta variant, meanwhile, has thrown the country into another wave of Covid.

On Friday, Biden was forced to respond to the release of a weak August jobs report. Then it was off to Louisiana, where he surveyed hurricane damage. The Caldor Fire that was scorching the Lake Tahoe region slowed over the weekend. But new wildfires were burning in California and on Tuesday he was visiting storm-ravaged areas of New York and New Jersey. The Delta variant, meanwhile, has thrown the country into another wave of Covid.

“The guy can’t catch a break,” said Les Francis, a Democratic strategist and former deputy White House chief of staff in the Carter administration. “It’s so reminiscent of reliving those times, where we had Mount St. Helens, we had Three Mile Island … we had the truckers rioting … Then we had the hostage crisis. We had the Soviets invade Afghanistan in December of 1979.”

Francis added: “Now you’ve got a hurricane and a million people without power in Louisiana. You’ve got wildfires in the West. You’ve got the Delta variant on Covid. Nobody could criticize him for those things, but they have a way of infecting the overall political environment. What it does is, it sours people’s attitudes, and if you’re the guy in charge, people sort of take it out on you, their frustrations, their anger, whatever it is.”

That confluence of events has Biden’s approval ratings at record lows. And Americans are also growing increasingly pessimistic about the direction of the country. In the six months immediately following Biden’s inauguration, the percentage of adults who said things have “seriously gotten off on the wrong track” dropped by about 20 percentage points. But over the past two months, that rate of dissatisfaction has climbed steadily higher, and is now above 60 percent.

READ FULL STORY at Politico.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This