These days, Joe Biden is once again a world politician. He will be in Japan until Tuesday, having previously been a guest in South Korea. Biden met with the region’s top counterparts Monday, assuring Taiwan of military support in the event of a Chinese invasion. Biden is the strong man, whether in a dispute with China or Russia. With the war against Ukraine, the White House has forged a robust alliance against Vladimir Putin. Biden is undoubtedly the leader of the free world.
At home, in his own country, however, this Joseph Robinette Biden junior governs far less confidently. Two senators from Biden’s Democratic Party are undermining the central project of his presidency: a comprehensive climate and social package. Inflation, even higher than in Europe, is angering consumers. The corona numbers are rising again. Racist, right-wing extremist terror scares many African Americans. There is even a shortage of baby milk powder in the richest country in the world. Baby food is being flown from Germany to the USA these days.
The receipt for all these deficits, this anger, this citizen frustration: Joe Biden is more unpopular than he has been for a long time. In a recent poll, the president’s approval rating has fallen to the lowest level of his presidency. According to this, only 39 percent of US citizens are satisfied with Biden’s performance. This is the result of a survey by the AP news agency with the independent, non-partisan NORC Center for Public Research at the University of Chicago.
Even more bitter for Biden, who wanted to unite and reconcile the country: Only around two out of ten respondents say that the USA is moving in the right direction. Even among Democrats, only one in three (33 percent) thinks so. In April, 49 percent said so.
Accordingly, Biden’s support in his own party is dwindling. It is now at 73 percent. In no AP-NORC survey last year was this value lower than 82 percent. A similar picture emerges from a synopsis of various current surveys by different institutes. On average, Biden has an approval rating of 41 percent, as calculated by the Realclearpolitics portal.
It’s a blatant crash. At the beginning of his presidency in January 2021, Biden received a good 55 percent approval. The low point in approval was in February 2022, an average of 39.8 percent.
The massive difference to earlier political times in the US: Washington’s commitment to Putin’s war of aggression this time does not lead to the nation rallying around the US President. On the contrary: Only 45 percent of Americans agree with Biden’s Russia policy, 54 percent reject it. Only 73 percent of Democrats and 15 percent of Republicans agree with him.
Biden acts consistently according to the principle: the USA and NATO must not become a war party. He wants to avoid a war with the nuclear power Russia, but he also follows the conviction of his people, who no longer want to wage wars far away from their own soil. Meanwhile, Republicans blame Biden for inflation. Even beyond this transparent polemic: The relatively high gasoline prices are a heavy political burden for Biden.
The Democrats are already fearing a “red wave” in the midterm elections on November 8th. (Red is the color of the Republicans, blue that of the Democrats, ed.). Their horror scenario: the loss of their narrow majorities in the House of Representatives and in the Senate – as a result of Biden’s unpopularity.
With a Republican-dominated Congress, Biden would only be a lame duck as president, a lame duck, that is, severely weakened. He would then be even less successful domestically than he is now. The budget right, for example, which Congress holds, would then be in Republican hands. The fact that the President’s party is punished by the voters in the mid-term elections and loses massive seats is practically a political law of nature in the USA.
The completely insecure Democrats now fear a massive defeat in the elections, a true march through by the Republicans. Many Democrats are frustrated by Biden because he has not fulfilled many campaign promises. Left and right Democrats blame each other. Many Democrats, not just those on the left, are calling on Biden that the federal government should take on the sometimes crushing student debt of many Americans. But how would that be received by badly paid non-academics?
Meanwhile, the Republicans have been very self-confident in recent weeks. Ex-President Donald Trump continues to talk about the “fraud” in the 2020 election he lost. On his network Truth Social on Sunday he devoted himself primarily to Hillary Clinton, his opponent from 2016. He also predicted a downfall on Twitter. The operator of Truth Social says his network is “better”.
Trump is likely to speak again about his successor Biden on Friday. That’s when Trump, less than two weeks after the Buffalo terror shooting, will give the keynote address at the annual convention of the NRA gun lobby. Trump has November 8, the day of the midterm elections, in his sights at least as much as Biden: It’s quite possible that after a Republican landslide victory he will immediately declare himself the 2024 presidential candidate.