By Maria Maalouf
A version of the article appeared originally in Arabic in Sky News Arabia.
The observer of American affairs notes that the popularity of any American president and his party is affected by factors that are most sensitive to the American citizen. Among the most important of these factors are the economic issues and health insurance, which are the leading concerns in the midterms most likely to impact the Congressional makeup coming up in November.
The observer does not deny that the Biden administration has achieved some achievements at the internal American level, and has managed to create 6 million new jobs for the American workforce. A low unemployment rate in itself is considered a great success in the context of the history of the United States. According to public data, with the creation of these new positions, the unemployment rate decreased from 6 percent to about 4 percent of the total workforce within the first year of Biden and his party’s accession to power in the United States. Equally important to the American people is that this development comes at a time when poverty and hunger among American children have also declined.
Many even credit the Biden administration for taking decisive action and ensuring the successful passage of a stimulus package bill in Congress. The stimulus was passed to support the American economy in the face of the repercussions of the outbreak of the “Covid 19” pandemic. Additionally, the Biden administration claims credit for a plan with a giant budget to develop the infrastructure in America, which, if it happens as planned, would be a remarkable achievement compared to the accomplishment of previous American presidents.
Despite these seemingly favorable developments, opinion polls have shown that since Biden entered the White House, Americans did not take to him particularly, or at the very least, do not believe that he is doing a good job. The contributive factors to this unflattering outlook include the high inflation rate, impacted in part by the Corona pandemic, which has exhausted both the American people and the American economy. Other concerns which has resulted in the highest inflation in 40 years include the continuation of the Russian aggression and its economic repercussions on America. As a result of the significant increase in energy prices, prices of various American goods and services have also gone up.
A poll conducted by Reuters / Ipsos several days ago showed that the popularity of US President Joe Biden has fallen to the lowest level since the start of his presidential term. This is concerning for the Democrats when the country is about a month away from the midterm elections for Congress on November 8.
The poll showed that 40 percent of Americans support Biden’s job performance, compared to 41 percent during the week before the survey. These recent polls confirm the likelihood of the Democratic Party losing control of the House of Representatives after the midterm elections next November. There is also a possibility of the Democrats losing the Senate.
After examining the factors that led to the decline in the popularity of President Biden and the Democratic Party, we try to look to the future.
Many observers believe that the main reason for Biden’s accession to the White House after the presidential elections in 2020 is the belief of many voters that Biden’s approach to dealing with the Corona pandemic that killed hundreds of thousands of Americans would be better than that of his predecessor, Donald Trump.
While the Republicans still expect a significant collapse in the ranks of the Democratic Party in the upcoming November elections, giving them a majority in the House of Representatives, at least, taking advantage of high inflation rates and the low popularity rates of President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party, Democrats have reasons for optimism, unlike their position at the beginning of this year. This week, the victory of supporters of expanding abortion rights in the primaries in some US states made the issue of abortion rights a significant challenge for the Republicans in the upcoming congressional elections.
On the other hand, the Republicans are trying to focus the agenda of the electoral predecessor on high levels of inflation, crime, and the collapse of the immigration system. They believe that after about two years of the Biden administration and the decline in the popularity of Biden and his party as a result of high inflation rates and prices of energy and various commodities, the voters will want to see a change. The Biden administration has yet to account for the possibility of worsening American economic conditions in light of the continued Russian aggression against Ukraine and its repercussions on the economic conditions inside the United States, and have not presented any plans for improvement. Biden, and his party are being tested by the continuation of the war in Ukraine and its implications on the economic conditions at home, but have not been able to address the resulting challenges to the American people other than by increasing spending and greater inflation. They have also not accounted for the energy-related challenges resulting in part from Biden’s own policies.
There are other factors troubling the Biden administration and his Democratic Party and affecting their popularity now and in the future. These include the management of the Iranian nuclear crisis, as well as the formation of the multipolar international system, including China and India. These broader foreign policy issues do not have clear answers or solutions, but the American people generally see the foreign policy as being poorly managed with challenges mushrooming in various parts of the world.
Hence, the likelihood of a Republican president of America reaching the White House after two years to succeed Democratic President Joe Biden is increasing. A real battle is beginning to rage to change the makeup of the US House of Representatives next November, as Republicans need to win five additional seats to regain the majority of the House of Representatives, and only one seat in the Senate. This is considered a preliminary opinion poll for voters in the presidential elections, which will take place two years from now.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maria Maalouf is a journalist, broadcaster, and owner of the capitol Tv show from Washington DC. She holds an MA in Political Sociology from the University of Lyon. You can find her on Twitter @bilarakib