What Biden’s falling ratings mean for 2022 midterms
President Joe Biden’s approval rating has dropped to 48%, the lowest it’s been during his term so far, according to new polling. Public polling firm Morning Consult found that amid the American withdrawal from Afghanistan and the collapse of the Afghan military and government, 49% now say they disapprove of Biden. There are other ongoing factors that may have also contributed to this shift in numbers, such as the economy and pandemic recovery, but it remains to be seen what, if any, impact it will all have on 2022 election predictions and beyond.
Among Democrats, President Biden’s approval rating has fallen from 90% to 87% and from 16% to 11% with Republicans. Independents gave Biden an approval rating of 41%, a two-point drop from a few weeks prior. Morning Consult noted that before Kabul fell to the Taliban, Biden still had a net-positive approval rating of 51%. There are other polls that put Biden’s net approval rating closer to 49% or as low as 41% in the Afghanistan aftermath.
More than a year out from the midterm elections, it’s impossible to know for sure how to make 2022 election predictions – or even 2024 presidential election predictions – based on Biden approval rating rcp. Since 2009, presidential approval ratings have fit a consistent pattern. Members of the president’s party really like him and members of the opposition really don’t. That has resulted in approval ratings that generally operate within a very narrow range. Any changes usually come from a group of independents, who are more likely to poll against the president in office and his party, so we generally have ended up with approval ratings that hover near 50% or slightly below. More likely, what we see as notable changes in approval are in the degree of approval. The Economist and YouGov do a poll every two weeks in which they break down Biden’s approval rating into four categories: strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove and strongly disapprove. Notably, we’ve seen a plunge in the strong support for Biden among Democrats.
In a sign that the falling Biden approval rating isn’t directly associated with only his handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, there are signs that overall approval began to drop shortly after June 21 when there was a strong correlation between the re-emergence of COVID-19 cases and a decline in views of how he was handling the pandemic. Learn more about political betting odds
These numbers may not seem relevant to 2024 presidential election predictions, but if you’re a moderate Democrat looking to be re-elected in a purple district, a drop in the presidential approval rating when the president is a member of your party may compel you to change the way you make decisions about how you vote on legislation in order to secure your job for another term. Presidential approval ratings also offer an insight into how the midterms will turn out. If Biden’s approval rating holds, history suggests that Democrats could lose 30 seats in the House – far more than are needed to lose their majority.
So, while the 2024 presidential election may not be impacted by Biden’s approval rating today, there are serious implications for the Democratic Party in the 2022 midterm election and will change election predictions down the ticket. Still unknown is how Biden’s approval ratings will move over the next year.