by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Joe Biden’s first year in office has been a disaster of epic proportions. Afghanistan and the southern border? Disaster. His handling of the COVID-19 pandemic after promising to “shut down” the virus and hiring Ron “Ebola Czar” Klain as his chief of staff? Disaster. His decrepit disposition and the fact that Kamala Harris is a heartbeat away from power? You get the idea.
The American people have been paying attention, and they are justifiably appalled. A recent Gallup survey found a “dramatic” 14-point shift in party identification over the past year, which is terrible news for Democrats heading into the 2022 midterm elections.
When Biden took office, 49 percent of Americans told Gallup they identified as (or leaned) Democrat, compared to just 40 percent who considered themselves (or leaned) Republican. Since then, the Democratic Party’s 9-point advantage has turned into a 5-point deficit, with just 42 percent of Americans identifying as Democrat and 47 percent identifying as Republican. That’s not great.
Biden’s approval rating has suffered a similar decline, from 56 percent in the days following his inauguration to just 42 percent in recent weeks, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average. A Quinnipiac poll published last week measured Biden’s approval rating at just 33 percent, which matched the polling firm’s lowest recorded approval rating for former president Donald Trump in the days after the storming of the Capitol building in January 2021.
Meanwhile, more than 440,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 on Biden’s watch, which means the virus he promised to “shut down” has now killed about 33,000 more Americans than it did in the final year of Trump’s presidency.