President Joe Biden's standing with key Democratic constituencies has slipped as clashes inside his party threaten to stall his political agenda and dampen enthusiasm with voters.
Polls from Pew Research Center, Quinnipiac University, and Morning Consult show Biden's approval ratings with black, Hispanic, and female voters falling in recent months, which could pose difficulties for Democrats in next year's midterm elections and gubernatorial races if the trend continues.
"Young people, Latinos, African Americans — they're all voters that could come back to Democrats. They all voted for Biden by large margins in 2020," said Democratic pollster Brad Bannon.
Black voters, in particular, helped Biden secure crucial votes in early primary states, cementing his nomination at the top of the ticket and boosting him in the general election.
Bannon said these voters would likely return as Democrats and Biden "take strong, aggressive action to revitalize the economy."
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To earn Democrats' support, he said Biden would need to usher through his major legislative proposals. But members of the Democratic Party are divided, with centrists and progressives trillions of dollars apart on a proposed social spending package. Pending an agreement on the Build Back Better plan, some House Democrats have threatened to vote down the bipartisan infrastructure bill despite supporting it.
On Friday, Biden said he stood behind progressives refusing to vote for one package before striking an agreement on the other, telling Democratic lawmakers his bipartisan infrastructure bill "ain't going to happen until we reach an agreement on the next piece of legislation."
"Let's try to figure out what we are for in reconciliation," Biden said during a visit to Capitol Hill, capping a week of fraught negotiations over the two packages. "It doesn't matter if it is six minutes, six days, or six weeks. We are going to get it done."
Biden's approval ratings with voters slipped this summer as the delta coronavirus variant spread across the country, stalling economic recovery. Voters have also faulted his administration for the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal.
The Pew Research survey shows a decline in Biden's support with black voters.
Two-thirds of black voters said they approve of how Biden is handling his job, down from 85% in July. His approval rating with Hispanic voters fell 16 percentage points to 56% and 14 percentage points among Asian Americans to 54%. His approval rating with women has dropped 12 percentage points to 45%.
Furthermore, some black voters said they dislike Biden's recent coronavirus vaccine mandate.
A recent Morning Consult poll suggests Biden's loss of support among black voters may be linked to his federal vaccine mandate. Following the announcement, Biden's job performance fell 5 percentage points to 71%, while the share of people who disapprove grew 7 points to 24%.
Biden's net approval rating, those who approve of his job performance minus those who disapprove, has fallen 12 percentage points with black voters since the mandate was announced, led by unvaccinated voters at 17 points.
Rectifying the slip may prove difficult as Biden navigates competing interests among his different constituencies. While measures such as vaccine mandates may find approval among some voters, other supporters may lose enthusiasm.
"I think Biden is suffering from a cascade of problems and seems unable to successfully address any of them," Republican strategist David Kochel told the Washington Examiner last month. "He promised to shut down the virus, and the virus is far from over. He promised a better border policy, and it's a mess. He promised to get us out of Afghanistan, and [while] he did, he handled it in the worst way, getting soldiers killed and stranding Americans and our allies in the process."
Democrats hold both chambers of Congress and the White House, which means voters could also fault the party if Biden's legislative agenda falls apart.
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Bannon said passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the reconciliation package would prove Biden's best hope of drawing young and minority voters back into the fold.
"It will signal to these people that help is on the way," he said.
Original Location: Biden's slipping poll numbers could fall further as his agenda stalls
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