Democrats should ‘panic’ over Biden’s alarmingly poor polls, liberal political scientist says

President Biden’s historically low polling numbers should “panic” Democrats heading into the 2024 election, a political science professor warned in Slate this week.

Several polls published this month show President Biden’s approval at record lows. A new national poll from Monmouth University out this week has the president at its lowest approval rating ever, with just 34% of Americans saying they approve of the job he’s been doing in the White House. 

Writer and political science professor at Roosevelt University David Faris called this bad news for the Democratic Party “even worse than it looks.”

“Precisely how scared Democrats should be about Biden’s standing depends on how his plight compares with those of presidents past. And there’s no sugarcoating it: This might be the worst polling environment for an incumbent president one year out from an election since the advent of the polling era in the 1930s and also the most dire situation facing any Democratic presidential candidate in decades,” the liberal-leaning political scientist wrote. “Panic is entirely warranted,” 


Faris acknowledged the polling “around an incumbent president’s reelection chances is an extremely small sample size,” and finding comparable polling this far out from an election narrows the options even more. But looking to the elections of George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, he found “this century’s incumbent presidents really haven’t had any dramatic shifts of the magnitude that Biden needs to win next November’s election.”

Bush, Obama and Trump all had higher approval ratings at this point in the election cycle, with 58, 45, and 44 percent, respectively, he wrote. 

“Biden as of this writing is averaging just 40.5 percent in the RealClearPolitics average, with a net -15.4—nearly twice as bad as Trump on net. In other words, Biden isn’t just worse off than the presidents who were reelected this century. He’s in a considerably more grim position than the one who lost his second campaign by 7 million votes,” the professor said.

However, approval ratings aren’t “tightly tied to election outcomes,” he argued, pointing to Democrats outperforming expectations in the 2022 and 2023 elections in spite of Biden’s unpopularity.


But researchers say today’s “heightened partisan polarization” has made factors like economy less “predictive” on determining election outcomes, he wrote.

For that reason, even if the Biden campaign was able to shift voters’ perceptions of the economy, it might not change their vote, he explained.

“That’s the outcome predicted by the available data today. Taken together, the picture painted by horse-race polling and approval ratings makes Biden possibly the most vulnerable incumbent president since scientific polling was invented. Think of it this way: There have been incumbents with some bad head-to-head polling against likely challengers and some with poor approval ratings at various points in the year before the election. But the only incumbent president with both approval ratings and head-to-head polling anywhere near this bad at this stage of the race was Donald Trump, who went on to lose,” Faris said.

Biden would “truly be making history” if he made a “comeback” from this poor polling, he added.

A new Fox News poll finds nearly half of voters (46%) say the Biden administration’s policies have hurt them personally. Another 39% think the policies haven’t made much difference either way. The number saying they’ve been hurt by Biden’s policies is up eight points compared to 2021.

Fox News’ Dana Blanton contributed to this report.



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