“This week’s Quinnipiac poll, just like Quinnipiac’s poll for the last five months, is very likely an outlier,” writes Dillon.
But, take a step back here. This is the Biden White House fighting to make sure that roughly four in ten people approve of the job the President is doing — as opposed to one in three approving. Even if we take Dillon at her word — and I think we should! — then Biden is in rough shape politically.
Donald Trump: 37%
Barack Obama: 50%
George W. Bush: 86%
Bill Clinton: 54%
George H.W. Bush: 71%
Ronald Reagan: 49%
Jimmy Carter: 57%
With the exception of Trump, Biden is in the worst shape of any of them. And, of course, Trump’s Republican Party lost 41 House seats and the majority in the 2018 midterms and Trump himself lost his bid for a second term two years later.
Which means that being in slightly better polling shape than Trump is nothing for Biden to brag about. A 43% job approval score, if it holds all the way through November — and there is some evidence that this is not an exception but rather the rules for Biden at this point — Democrats are very likely to lose the House and no better than 50-50 shot to keep their Senate majority.
So, why then, if you are the Biden White House, put out a memo that insists that the president is at 43% approval? Well, it’s because 43% is a number that worries Democrats on the ballot in November, while 33% is one that incites full-on panic.
(It’s worth noting that CNN’s latest poll of polls, which includes the four most recent national polls on the President’s job approval rating, has him similarly at 42%.)
Hence Dillon’s conclusion that “the President and Congressional Democrats will build on this progress in 2022, addressing price increases, mitigating supply chain bottlenecks, implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and making addition progress fighting the virus.”
The shorter version of that pitch goes like this: Stick this out, it has to get better.
Which, I get! But man, you know you are in a dark place politically when winning is convincing people that the President is at 43%.