The year-long global pandemic has changed American public opinion political attitudes forever. The combined effect of the vaccines developed under former President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed and the economic rebound, also begun under former President Trump, are now clearly benefiting President Biden.
In our just completed national survey of 1,000 likely voters, the percent of American voters who think that the economy is in recession remains at 50% which was a precipitous decline from last June. Forty-two percent say the economy is not in recession.
Moreover, the majority of voters, 52%, continue the economic optimism that began under former President Trump last April and say that the economy is getting better. Only 39% say that the economy is getting worse.
Ironically, Democrats and liberals are now the most optimistic saying that the economy is getting better 65% and 70% respectively.
Independents, 50%, and moderates, 53%, say the economy is getting better.
In contrast Republicans, 52%, and conservatives, 54%, say the economy is getting worse.
As a result of the growing economic optimism, the plurality of voters, 48%, say that the United States is headed in the right direction. Forty-six percent say wrong track.
The view that the country is headed in the right direction is highest among Democrats 74%, liberals 77%, moderates 55%, African Americans 69%, Hispanics 61%, voters under 55 years old 57%, and urban voters 69%.
In contrast the wrong direction view is highest among Republicans 73%, conservatives 77%, independents 50%, whites 55%, undecided voters for Congress 59%, voters over 55 years 62%, women 48%, suburban voters 52% and rural voters 62%.
It’s clear that President Biden needs to thank former President Trump for the "Biden bounce."
Last month, we saw Joe Biden’s initial honeymoon job approval rating decline to 55%.
This month. Biden’s job approval has risen to 58%, which is directly connected to the perception among the majority of voters thinking the economy will get better. Forty-one percent still disapprove of the job President Biden is doing.
Besides former President Trump, President Biden must thank the mainstream news media.
The Media Research Center sponsored the question: "Comparing the way the news media has treated other presidents, do you think the news media has been harder on Joe Biden, easier on Joe Biden, or has the news media treated him equally the same as other presidents?"
Among all voters almost half, 45%, said the news media has been easier on Joe Biden and only 14% said harder. Independents say easier 52% to only 7% harder. Moderates say easier 38% to only 12% harder. Voters over 55 years old who are more likely to watch TV news say that the news media has been easier on Biden 62% and only 5% harder.
Less than half the voters, 46%, say that President Biden has kept his promise to unite America and improve race relations.
While 74% of African Americans and 64% of Hispanics say that Biden has kept that promise, only 36% of white voters say he kept that promise and 52% say that he has not.
The vast majority of voters, 73%, agreed with the statement that "Cancel culture has gone too far in America and instead of uniting the country and bringing Americans together, Cancel Culture is dividing America and our free speech rights are being threatened."
Only 16% disagreed with that statement, 87% of Trump voters agreed with it but so did 61% of Biden voters. Majority agreement extended across all partisan, ideological and demographic voter segments that the Cancel Culture has gone too far and is a threat to free speech.
Three quarters of all voters, 78%, support "voter ID requirements in elections which requires voters to present a valid, government issued form of identification to prove they are who they say they are, when casting their vote or requesting an absentee ballot."
Only 17% opposed. 92% of Trump voters and 66% of Biden voters support this measure. Strong majority support for voter ID for ballots including absentee ballots extends across all partisan, ideological and demographic voter segments including 83% among whites, 72% among African Americans and 61% among Hispanics.
Less than half of all voters, 45%, support President Biden’s call for a boycott of Georgia over the state’s new voting law. Support for Biden’s Georgia boycott falls among: Trump voters 15%, those who are undecided for Congress 29%, Republicans 22%, independents 41%, conservatives 15%, whites 40%, voters over 55 years 33%, and women 43%.
Even fewer voters 42%, support Major League Baseball’s decision to move the All Star game out of Atlanta that will cost Metro Atlanta over $100 million in lost tourist revenue. 43% opposed. Support and opposition for MLB’s decision to boycott Georgia was very divisive and split along partisan, ideological and racial voter segments.
However, a two-thirds majority 67%, agreed that "before Major League Baseball and other corporations boycott Georgia over voter laws, they need to boycott Communist China with whom they hold lucrative business deals and investments with, for using slave labor, persecuting Christians and other religions and prohibiting free and democratic elections."
Only 19% disagreed. Agreement to boycott China before boycotting Georgia extended across every region, party, ideology, race and other demographic groups. It’s very clear that the majority of American voters see MLB and other corporations as divisive and hypocritical in their treatment of Georgia as opposed to their submission to Communist China.
Former President Trump remains very strong within the Republican voter base. Sixty-nine percent of all Republican primary voters, which includes independents who vote in the GOP primary, want to see Donald Trump run again for President in 2024.
If President Trump ran for President again in 2024, Republican primary voters would support him 82% to 15%.
In a potentially crowded field of 15 candidates President Trump leads with 55% of the vote. Mike Pence 10%, and Ron DeSantis 7% run a very distant second and third. Without President Trump, in a field of 16 candidates, Mike Pence leads with 19% followed by Donald Trump, Jr. 15%, Ron DeSantis 14% and Ted Cruz 10%.
On the Democratic side without Joe Biden, Kamala Harris leads with 34% followed by Michelle Obama 20% and Pete Buttigieg 5%.
The generic ballot for Congress remains a dead heat tie with Democrats 46% to Republicans 46%. Independents tilt for Republicans 42% to 39%. The Democratic Congressional leadership is a significant liability with the majority of American voters, 53%, are unfavorable to Nancy Pelosi.
Only 37% are favorable. Similarly, the plurality of voters, 47%, are unfavorable to Senate Leader Chuck Schumer and only 34% are favorable.
At present in a post-pandemic America as the economy re-opens, public opinion remains very partisan and polarized, but right now former President Trump’s legacy in the short term is helping President Biden.
However, Biden’s partisan divisiveness, cancel culture and China point to future fault lines in his popularity. Like a wealthy heir, we shall find out whether Joe Biden will build on his inheritance or squander it.
John McLaughlin has worked professionally as a strategic consultant and pollster for over 35 years.
Jim McLaughlin is a nationally recognized public opinion expert, strategic consultant, and political strategist. Read More Here.
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