President Biden’s popularity is maintaining its downward trend, as an average of recent polls by FiveThirtyEight finds that Biden’s approval rating hit a new low of 43.4 percent as of Friday, from a high of 55 percent in March.
At the same time, the president’s disapproval rating hit new heights, reaching 50.7 percent, from 36 percent in January.
Biden’s approval rating dipped under 50 percent in August as his administration faced rising coronavirus numbers, struggled to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies from Afghanistan after a chaotic pullout that left 13 service members dead, and a slowdown in the job market.
Also, Biden’s domestic agenda, namely the two multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure and social spending bills, became stalled in Congress because of infighting between progressive Democrats in the House and moderates in the Senate, leading some to question the president’s leadership.
Concerns are mounting that Biden’s woes will translate to losses in the 2022 midterm elections, and already threaten the Democratic candidate in the Virginia governor’s race — a state that is usually safe for Democrats.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin are deadlocked at 48 percent with a week to go in the race, a Cygnal survey released Sunday showed.
Biden defeated former President Donald Trump in Virginia by 11 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election, but those gains have been slipping.
“The direction of Virginia could be a bellwether of things to come in 2022,” said Cygnal’s Chris Kratzer. “We’re seeing generic Republican support rise across the much of our polling, while Biden’s image continues to plummet.”
McAuliffe acknowledged in a call to supporters earlier this month that Biden has become unpopular in the commonwealth.
“We got to get Democrats out to vote,” McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, said on the call. “We are facing a lot of headwinds from Washington.”
“As you know, the president is unpopular today, unfortunately, here in Virginia,” McAuliffe continued. “So we have got to plow through.”
Biden will stump for McAuliffe on Tuesday in Arlington.
Former President Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris have also campaigned for McAuliffe.