The COVID-19 pandemic is widely cited as one of the most significant factors that led to former President Donald Trump’s defeat in 2020. While the coronavirus certainly worked in President Joe Biden’s favor last year, it has become a major thorn in his side.
Biden’s approval rating has been in the toilet for more than four weeks now, and his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the primary contributors to his plummeting favorability. Politico reported that a focus group of Democratic voters in Pennsylvania might have shed some light on this particular issue. The report concluded that “the pandemic and the many ways it continues to hinder normal life is souring their views of Biden.”
For example, one woman explained that she wished to buy a new car, but “supply chain issues were delaying new shipments to the dealership.”
Another participant grumbled about understaffed restaurants.
Sarah Longwell, a GOP strategist who supported Biden last year and led the focus group, said “there is a malaise” and that “people don’t feel like their lives have been improved. They did sort of feel that promises aren’t being kept.”
While the president and his close friends and allies in the activist media aver that the danger of the pandemic is decreasing due to his actions, it is clear America doesn’t quite agree. The findings of two polls published last Friday showed that Biden’s approval ratings had taken a worse pounding than Deontay Wilder.
While President Biden has given us a veritable smorgasbord of issues he has mishandled, COVID seems to be the most pressing matter. Morning Consult has published data showing that a large chunk of Americans is deeply concerned about the coronavirus. Even Politico noted:
Biden’s standing with Americans has plummeted, with his average approval rating plunging by nearly 15 points since late June. He’s seen a drop among Democrats and even more with Republicans, but the decline has been particularly steep among independent voters.
Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg wrote a memo explaining that Biden’s decline is due to his handling of the virus. Having been in contact with White House officials, he contends that “tens of millions of dollars being spent to sell Biden’s Build Back Better agenda,” is sending the message that he “isn’t focused on the virus,” according to Politico.
“The president’s decline is alarming. It’s serious,” the strategist said. “But it also can be reversed. And it isn’t going to be reversed by passing these two bills alone. He has to get Covid under control.”
Interviews and focus groups in other battleground states have yielded similar findings as the one conducted in Pennsylvania. One respondent in Atlanta indicated that financial assistance from the government was needed. “Especially not just people with children, a lot of us don’t have children,” she explained. “But a lot of us have to be in this public-facing environment as service workers because there’s no real extra help for us and people are getting sick every day.”
Politico also noted that “pandemic fatigue” is becoming prevalent even among the president’s core voters in the rest of the country. In Clark County, Nevada, researchers found that voters were “anxious, tired, and exhausted.”
However, some Democrats are still in denial, believing that the situation would blow over as time goes on. Biden pollster John Anzalone told Politico that they “are going to have this conversation a year from now” and that “the political environment is going to be different. And so will Biden’s numbers.”
The “wait it out” strategy the Democrats seem to be employing will probably not be as effective as they might hope. Yes, at some point, the COVID pandemic will pass despite the left’s ongoing attempts to milk the situation for all it is worth. They will not be able to keep Americans masked up, vaxxed, and locked down forever.
But the notion that Americans might somehow forget how horribly this situation was handled is laughable. The country’s attention span is pretty short – but it is not that short. Even when the pandemic is no longer a serious matter, its effects will still be evident. The economic and psychological damage that was done will likely take years to repair.
Folks like Anzalone are also forgetting the fact that the coronavirus is only one in a host of issues this administration has bungled. Afghanistan, the migrant crisis, and the economy will most definitely be on voters’ minds in 2022 and probably even in 2024. This, combined with the fact that the president will likely mishandle other problems that arise, shows the situation with Biden’s approval ratings will not be changing anytime soon – if ever.