The story behind those terrible poll numbers.
This past month has been one of Joe Biden’s most successful as president. He passed the Inflation Reduction Act, a pared-down version of the Build Back Better package that comprised much of his agenda, as well as a semiconductor production bill and gun reform legislation. He brought Sweden and Finland into NATO and killed the leader of Al-Qaeda. Biden even got credit in some quarters for tapping into the nation’s oil reserves to bring down gas prices, a questionable plaudit if not for the months of criticism he had received earlier for prices rising as high as they did.
A handful of legislative and economic successes should not disguise the considerable hole that Biden has found himself in. His approval rating remains an abysmal 39.6 percent. Biden’s basic competency is questioned by members of both parties on a regular basis. There is endless speculation about if he is too old for the job and whether or not he will run for a second term. Biden’s presidency has always been weighed down. But by what?
Donald Trump was always able to count on fervent supporters in the farthest right-leaning corners of the party. This group remained wildly vocal in support of every action that Donald Trump took. They cheered on his inane statements and his daily attempts to anger liberals. Far-right pundits and social media accounts constantly lied and spun for their president. Many of the attempts were bland, obvious, and pilloried by mainstream outlets. But they succeeded in buttressing President Trump’s support. Millions of Americans received the message that Donald Trump was perfection incarnate and that everything he did was commendable. Many of these Americans did not also hear the rebuttals.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, will never receive the unwavering support of his left wing. He ran as the centrist candidate, one who rejected some of the policies of the left and ceded that ground to Bernie Sanders. The left wing has responded to Biden in kind. It has been inherently critical of nearly every policy pursued by the Biden administration. Biden receives almost no unwavering, uncritical support. He has no army of sycophants who can bolster his every message no matter the attitude of mainstream media outlets.