For voters concerned about the economy, actions speak louder than words.
On Sunday, the New York Times published a poll that sent chills through the Democratic Party and its environs from Hollywood to Capitol Hill. The poll, showing former President Donald Trump beating incumbent President Joe Biden in 5 out of 6 critical swing states, set off a news cycle of abject terror and doomsaying.
There were calls for President Biden to resign, the usual calls to jail Donald Trump; some raged at the New York Times, and others blamed internecine struggles over Israel/Hamas.
“6 warning signs for Biden in new battleground state poll,” Steven Shepard deconstructed the poll for readers of POLITICO on November 5, 2023.
“The toplines are bad for Biden,” noted Shepard. “What’s buried deeper in the poll might be worse. When a pollster releases new data in six key battleground states, and the incumbent is losing in four of them, it’s hard to narrow down the list of warning signs to just a handful.“
“But the latest results from The New York Times and Siena College, released Sunday to coincide with the one-year-out mark from the 2024 election, paint a dismal picture for President Joe Biden — and a well-defined path back to the White House for the man he defeated three years ago, former President Donald Trump,” Shepard concluded, without much optimism.
The sentiment was shared by other media outlets.
“A Five-Alarm Biden Re-Election Fire,” wrote the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board. “The President trails Trump in five of six battleground states in a new survey.”
“The usual caveats apply,” the WSJ reminded readers. “The election is still a year away, and Mr. Trump has benefited from his relative lack of exposure while being out of office. As voters focus on the election next year, Mr. Trump’s manifest liabilities will reassert themselves. And that’s before his three criminal trials play out, two of which are scheduled for the first half of next year.”
“The war in the Middle East is now dividing Mr. Biden’s coalition, as anti-Israel progressives turn on the President,” noted the WSJ. “We think Mr. Biden deserves credit for supporting Israel, and so do most Democrats. But in a closely divided country, even a small defection by a core group of voters can turn a swing state.”
“Public opinion polls are a snapshot in time, and results can change quickly in politics as events intrude,” the editorial board quantified. “But the polls have been sending Democrats and President Biden the same election warning for months, so perhaps they’ll eventually start listening.”
What are voters trying to tell the Democratic Party in this new poll?
“If Trump wins, more voters foresee better finances, staying out of war — CBS News poll,” observed Anthony Salvanto, Jennifer De Pinto, and Fred Backus. “With views of things in America continuing to be bad and now hitting their most negative marks of the year, one might expect an incumbent president to trail in a pre-election poll — as Joe Biden does in this one.”
“But that’s only half the story,” they continued. “The other half is that Donald Trump holds distinct advantages in his own right when voters look forward: More voters think they’d be better off financially if Trump wins in 2024, and more voters think it’s Trump who can keep the U.S. out of a war if he wins.”
“Americans have long described financial setbacks because of inflation and interest rates,” the trio explained. “Those who feel they’re worse off financially are backing Trump. And this isn’t just punitive toward Mr. Biden — those voters overwhelmingly think they will be financially better off if Trump wins.”
Despite attempts to brand a new era of post-Covid prosperity “Bidenomics” voters can’t help but notice higher prices — on everything — including big-ticket items like cars. Getting a mortgage in 2023 means being forced to finance at over 8% in most cases. Only a few short years ago, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was hovering around a comfortable 2.5% for average buyers.
Renters are hardly having an easier — or cheaper — time of it.
A growing number of working-class Americans, including small business owners, are depending more and more heavily on credit as the economic crunch continues with no signs of abating.
“Small businesses are driving credit card debt higher,” reported Megan Henney for FOX Business. “Small businesses identify inflation as the biggest risk facing them.”
Perhaps President Biden’s main problem in reaching these voters is that the Democratic Party — including Biden himself as recently as yesterday — continues to brand the economy as strong, amazing, wonderful, etc.
As politicians campaigning for reelection, it’s only natural for incumbents to accentuate the positive and shine a spotlight on legislative achievements. From an elected official, however, voters are perhaps looking for something more than good branding and a quick pivot from inflation to more positive economic indicators, like unemployment.
They want to hear President Biden’s plan for improving the economy.
Democratic Party echo chambers are ringing with attempts to downplay, dismiss, and otherwise forget the troubling poll. Democratic analysts are determined to brand this a messaging crisis — not an economic crisis.
What if it isn’t a problem with messaging? What if voters are getting the message — loud and clear — about “Bidenomics”?
“Bidenomics” is just a catchy marketing pitch; it’s just a word. Voters don’t want to hear their President dismiss ongoing — and increasing — concerns about the economy.
According to these most recent polls, a majority of voters trust former President Donald Trump over President Joe Biden to handle the economy.
It’s up to President Biden and the Democratic Party to prove them wrong.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)