A celebrated liberal political scientist has warned the Democrats that they should “panic” over President Joe Biden’s historically poor polling.
David Faris, a political science professor at Roosevelt University, raised the alarm in an article for Slate this week.
Several polls published this month show Biden’s approval at record lows.
This week, a new national poll from Monmouth University shows Biden’s lowest approval rating ever.
Just 34% of Americans say they approve of the job Biden’s been doing in the White House.
Faris was that this bad news is “even worse than it looks” for the Democratic Party.
“Precisely how scared Democrats should be about Biden’s standing depends on how his plight compares with those of presidents past,” Faris wrote.
“And there’s no sugarcoating it: This might be the worst polling environment for an incumbent president one year out from an election since the advent of the polling era in the 1930s and also the most dire situation facing any Democratic presidential candidate in decades.
“Panic is entirely warranted.”
Faris acknowledged the polling “around an incumbent president’s reelection chances is an extremely small sample size.”
He said that finding comparable polling this far out from an election narrows the options even more.
However, looking at the elections of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, Faris found that “this century’s incumbent presidents really haven’t had any dramatic shifts of the magnitude that Biden needs to win next November’s election.”
Bush, Obama, and Trump all had higher approval ratings at this point in the election cycle.
Bush was at 58 percent, Obama at 45, and Trump at 44, he noted.
“Biden as of this writing is averaging just 40.5 percent in the RealClearPolitics average, with a net -15.4—nearly twice as bad as Trump on net,” the professor said.
“In other words, Biden isn’t just worse off than the presidents who were reelected this century.
“He’s in a considerably more grim position than the one who lost his second campaign by 7 million votes.”
However, approval ratings aren’t “tightly tied to election outcomes,” he argued.
He pointed to Democrats outperforming expectations in the 2022 and 2023 elections despite Biden’s unpopularity.
nevertheless, researchers say today’s “heightened partisan polarization” has made factors like the economy less “predictive” on determining election outcomes, he wrote.
For that reason, even if the Biden campaign was able to shift voters’ perceptions of the economy, it might not change their vote, he explained.
“That’s the outcome predicted by the available data today,” Faris said.
“Taken together, the picture painted by horse-race polling and approval ratings makes Biden possibly the most vulnerable incumbent president since scientific polling was invented.
“Think of it this way: There have been incumbents with some bad head-to-head polling against likely challengers and some with poor approval ratings at various points in the year before the election.
“But the only incumbent president with both approval ratings and head-to-head polling anywhere near this bad at this stage of the race was Donald Trump, who went on to lose.”
Biden would “truly be making history” if he made a “comeback” from this poor polling, he added.
Another 39% think the policies haven’t made much difference either way.
The number saying they’ve been hurt by Biden’s policies is up eight points compared to 2021.