By Norman Solomon, LA Progressive
No amount of post-election puffery about Joe Biden can change a key political reality: His approval ratings are far below the public’s positivity toward the Democratic Party. Overall, the Democrats who won the midterm elections did so despite Biden, not because of him. He’s a drag on the party, a boon to Republicans, and—if he runs again—he’d be a weak candidate against the GOP nominee in the 2024 presidential campaign.
While the electorate is evenly split between the two parties, there’s no such close division about Biden. NBC reported its exit poll on Tuesday “found that two-thirds of voters (68 percent) do not want Biden to run for president again in 2024.”
This is nothing new. Biden’s low public-approval ratings have been longstanding. A chart showing chronic disapproval now has him at a dozen points underwater—53 percent “disapprove” and only 41 percent “approve.” The gap between approval of Biden and of his party underscores what a leaden weight he is on Democratic electoral prospects.
As for how he’s apt to govern next year, Biden has offered a willingness to compromise with the right-wing Republican leadership. A New York Times headline after his Wednesday afternoon news conference summed up: “Biden Promises Bipartisanship After a Red Wave ‘Didn’t Happen.’”
But “bipartisanship” is exactly what we don’t need, in the face of extremist Republican demagogues who are determined to keep dragging the goal posts—and the country—further rightward.