by Andrea Widburg
They’re looking bad across the board—and came from a Democrat pollster!
Hart Research Associates, a Democrat-run polling organization, released a poll taken from May 5-10 that asked voters about various issues as well as their general feeling about how the country is doing. The numbers are spectacularly grim for Joe Biden and the Democrat party generally. These numbers do two things: They bode well for Republicans taking over Congress in the midterm elections and they make Democrat cheating more difficult because it’s impossible for Democrats to have final outcomes that deviate too much from the mood of the country.
It's not a random opinion to say that Hart Research is a Democrat polling organization. Aside from general polls covering all sorts of business and social issues, the company describes Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, the political division of Hart Research, as
[O]ne of the most respected and successful political polling firms in the country for Democratic candidates and progressive causes. [snip] Our history of accomplishments includes winning open seats, helping Democrats succeed in places that often vote Republican, electing women to statewide office, helping elect political newcomers, winning contested primaries, and winning initiative and referendum campaigns.
It was this group’s research that showed that, in battleground states, the phrase “MAGA Republican” was off-putting to voters. From that, Anita Dunn and the Center for American Progress Action Fund instructed the Biden administration to use the phrase “Ultra-MAGA.” It didn’t occur to them that, except for those who already hated the MAGA movement, others would find it complimentary and, moreover, that the idea of Trump as “King MAGA” would provide conservatives with a powerhouse meme.
My point in bringing up this information is that this group, even as it undoubtedly strives to be honest because of its professional reputation, may have a bias leaning toward Democrat success. That’s why it was amazing that its most recent poll showed that 75% of all voters believe that the country under Joe Biden is heading in the wrong direction.
That number has been trending steadily downward since Biden’s first months in office (April 2021 was 56%, August was 63%, October was 71%, January 2022 was 72%, and March was 71%). As Scott Adams frequently (and wisely) says, it’s not just the numbers that matter, it’s the trajectory. Biden’s trajectory, as seen by how people feel about America during his administration, is disastrous.
Moreover, a majority of American adults blame Biden for their feeling about America in decline, with 56% disapproving of him. That’s bad. What’s worse is that the majority of those who disapprove do so strongly (45%) versus merely somewhat (11%). And again, if you look at the numbers since Biden took office, the trajectory has been straight down.
Indeed, 40% of those polled feel very negative just hearing the Biden name! It’s true that 42% feel negative when they hear Trump’s name but that’s actually a less interesting number. The media have been demonizing Donald Trump non-stop since 2015, castigating him as a racist, a Nazi, a rapist, a Russian stooge, a Russian activist, and an insurrectionist. Meanwhile, going back to 2008, the media have incessantly told Americans that Biden is a foreign policy expert, a unifier, a wise man, savvy, and the essence of normalcy. And despite that, huge numbers of Americans have developed a reflexive revulsion against him.
Even scarier for Democrats is the fact that those polled, when asked about the Republican party, have only a 29% very negative feelings about the party, while the numbers are very gently trending positive—and again, this is despite the media’s non-stop demonization of Republicans since Franklin Roosevelt’s administration. Meanwhile, 33% of Americans view the Democrat party very negatively, with very positive feelings dropping like a stone. (Kamala Harris gets a 36% for very negative.)
Voters are tied, 46%-46%, when it comes to which party controls Congress but, as Chuck Todd points out in the video below, that strongly indicates that Republicans will make strong mid-term gains.
The poll shows that abortion has become a matter of supreme importance to single-issue voters but the majority of voters still consider the really important issues to be the cost of living, the economy, and voting rights and election integrity. The war in Ukraine is low on the list and COVID is vanishingly low. As for those single-issue abortion voters, if they’re all in bright blue cities, they’re the same people who have always been fanatic Democrat voters, so they don’t reflect a meaningful shift in voter values.
All in all, Democrats have a lot to worry about. Meanwhile, the biggest challenge for Republicans is that they don’t form a circular firing squad and destroy themselves through internecine battles and sheer stupidity. They have a real knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.