Posted by Curt on 24 July, 2023 at 9:22 am. 18 comments already!


by I & I Editorial Board

Over the weekend, CNN ran a segment titled “Why isn’t Joe Biden more popular?” noting that only one president in modern times had a lower approval rating at this point in his first term. That president was Jimmy Carter.

CNN pointed to an analysis by poll aggregator FiveThirtyEight, which finds that 57.6% disapproved of Jimmy Carter 915 days into his term, while 55% disapprove of Biden. At this point, Trump had a disapproval rating of 52.6%. Biden is also far more unpopular than George H.W. Bush (36% disapproval), who went on to lose his reelection bid to Bill Clinton, and Lyndon Johnson (33% disapproval), who decided not to run for reelection.

To say this is baffling to the mainstream media is putting it mildly. For years, they’ve been scratching their heads to understand why Biden has been underwater with voters.

Here’s a (very small) sampling of stories over the year:

  • “How has Joe Biden become so unpopular so quickly among Americans?” — New York Times, September 2021
  • “Six Theories of Joe Biden’s Crumbling Popularity” — The Atlantic, November 2021
  • “Why Biden is so unpopular now?” — Christian Science Monitor, April 2022
  • “Why Is Joe Biden So Unpopular?” — U.S. News, January 2022
  • “Why is President Biden so unpopular?” — Washington Post, July 2022
  • “Biden Has Had a Remarkable First Term. Why Is He So Unpopular, Even With Democrats?” — Newsweek, May 2023

The articles all flop around trying to figure out the answer. The economy is doing so well. Inflation is “coming down.” Jobs are plentiful. Biden passed a huge infrastructure bill. He’s getting tough on climate change.

Even more puzzling is the fact that as a previous CNN poll found, 66% think a Biden win in November 2024 would be a disaster for the country, compared with 56% who said that of a Trump win.

What’s the problem, they ask? Is it just that the country is in a sour mood? Are people being misinformed? Is it somehow Trump’s fault? Is it because of ageism? Or climate change?

Of course, the real reason that media outlets are confused is because they’ve spent the past three years doing everything possible to make Biden more popular.

The real question they are asking with these endless articles isn’t “Why is Biden so unpopular?” It is “How is it that, with all our power and might, we haven’t been able to make Biden a more popular president?”

It’s worth pointing out in this context that journalists never wondered why Trump was unpopular during his presidency. You will search in vain, as we did, for such an article. (The only thing to come close were stories wondering why Republicans still supported the hugely unpopular Trump.)

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