Biden’s Approval Rating Is Up. Will His Misplaced Classified Documents Bring It Down?

“President Biden still isn’t what you’d call popular, but he’s closer to popular than he’s been in some time. On Jan. 11, Biden hit a 44.1 percent approval rating in FiveThirtyEight’s average — his highest mark since October 2021. That was 3 percentage points higher than it was on Nov. 9, which isn’t a huge increase in the grand scheme of things, but in this polarized age where any movement in the president’s approval rating is rare, it’s a veritable Bidenaissance.
This is the part of the story where you expect me to explain why this is happening. Which is understandable, except it’s impossible to know for sure what’s behind this shift. One leading theory, though: It’s because inflation has been slowing down. Prices in December 2022 were just 6.5 percent higher than they were in December 2021, which was the lowest inflation rate in over a year. Gas prices, another highly visible metric of the strain on Americans’ wallets, also plummeted from an average of $3.80 per gallon in November to $3.32 per gallon in December. These seem like pretty compelling explanations, considering how closely Biden’s approval rating was tied to the inflation rate and gas prices last year.”

“But is Biden’s luck about to run out? The discovery of a handful of classified documents from the Penn Biden Center and Biden’s Delaware home has generated arguably the first bad news story for Biden in months, and it’s fair to wonder whether it will reverse — or at least halt — his miniature political comeback. The few polls that have been conducted since these revelations suggest that Americans think Biden acted badly, and that could be dragging down his approval rating.”

How Biden Lost The Support Of Young Americans

“From my conversations with experts who study the political beliefs of young Americans and an examination of recent polling data, I’ve identified a few key factors that help explain the large drop-off in support. First, of course, they are concerned about the economy — a major driver of disapproval of Biden overall — and about the direction the country is headed. But young Americans also have some concerns that set them apart from older Americans. They are particularly worried about achieving financial independence and other markers of adulthood, for instance. They are also frustrated with the Biden administration’s limited progress on issues like tackling climate change and forgiving student debt, which many young people care a lot about. Moreover, Biden wasn’t the first choice of young voters in the 2020 Democratic primary, so his approval among this group may have been soft to begin with. The question now is whether this dissatisfaction with Biden will affect whether young Americans vote in the midterms, a potentially significant factor in determining how poorly the midterms could go for Democrats since young people voted at a higher rate in 2018 than in previous midterms and overwhelmingly backed Democrats.
In some ways, Biden’s decline among young Americans mirrors his standing overall. As Biden’s approval rating has fallen to 38 percent in FiveThirtyEight’s presidential approval tracker,1 18- to 29-year-olds’ approval of Biden has also slipped to 37 percent, with 53 percent disapproving of his job performance, based on data from FiveThirtyEight’s polling database.2”

Ranked choice is good, but we can do better: STAR, range, and approval voting.

There are at least dozens, probably hundreds, of proposed and discussed systems for determining who wins a single winner election. Unfortunately, the most commonly used system appears to be one of the worst.

Ranked choice is good, but we can do better: STAR, range, and approval voting. Video Sources

RCV vs STAR Voting FairVote. Independent Party of Oregon STAR Voting Primary Spotlight on the Data: STAR Voting. 9 28 2020. The Limits of Ranked-Choice Voting Aaron Hamlin. 2019 2 7. Election Science. Overvoting and the Equality of Voice

Many world leaders have seen double-digit polling surges amid coronavirus. Trump isn’t one of them.

“In early April, President Donald Trump’s job approval reached 46 percent in FiveThirtyEight’s poll aggregator — its highest level since January 25, 2017, and a 6-point increase since early November. It has since drifted back down to 43 percent. If Trump received any bump from his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, it was unusually small and short-lived.
International comparison is useful here. Leaders in most peer countries saw 10- to 20-point increases in their Morning Consult polling numbers by mid-April compared to a month earlier, when the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic. Canada’s Justin Trudeau has seen a 16-point bump; Scott Morrison of Australia a 25-point increase; even the largely unpopular French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron has seen his job approval rise 10 points.”

“Democratic and Republican state governors across the US have seen big increases in popularity as well, upward of 15 points in various polls”

“Why has Trump’s approval bump been so small relative to most other leaders at home and abroad?

One theory is that the Trump administration’s late and botched response to the coronavirus has dragged down the president’s popularity. There’s some data behind this intuition: According to two recent polls, 65 percent of Americans say either that Trump did not take Covid-19 “seriously enough at the beginning” or that he was “too slow to take major steps” to address the situation.

But plenty of other leaders have had huge popularity boosts despite their own flailing responses. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s overall favorability is up 27 points despite criticism for his hesitance to push for more drastic measures early in the crisis. The UK’s Boris Johnson, who came under fire for his government’s infamous “herd immunity” strategy in mid-March, has seen an 18-point bump. Even Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, whose initial response has been viewed as a cautionary tale of what other countries should avoid, saw his administration’s approval rating shoot up from 27 to 71 percent.”

“it does seem to matter how long that ineffectiveness lasts. A common thread among Cuomo, Johnson, and Conte: Despite fumbling their initial responses to Covid-19, they quickly changed course and began implementing clear, focused public health measures informed by scientific consensus. Voters might forgive an initial display of incompetence in the face of a novel threat if their leaders quickly adapt and steer the ship in the right direction.

Trump, it seems, has not earned much forgiveness. After denying the severity of the outbreak well into March, Trump looked as though he was beginning to change course. But then he reversed once again. He began saying that the cure of social distancing was “worse than the problem itself,” claiming the country would reopen by Easter, and endorsing unproven (and possibly dangerous) therapeutics. Last week, he even suggested that injecting people with bleach might be a potential treatment (seemingly prompting hundreds of calls to poison centers seeking guidance).”

“There’s been a lot of focus on how the Trump administration was technically and strategically unprepared for this crisis — and that’s true. But there’s also a way in which Trump himself was not temperamentally or ideologically prepared for it either. Trump built his political career atop fracture, conflict, and polarization. But he’s just collided with a crisis that demands solidarity, unity, and mutuality.”