Voters Unhappy With Biden in Latest F&M Poll
President Joe Biden faces an unhappy electorate in Pennsylvania, even among his own party, reflecting a national mood and possibly auguring a grim future for his agenda, according to the latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll.
"It's eroding his standing with Democrats," F&M Poll Director Berwood Yost said.
Just 30% of the state's registered voters believe the Democratic president is doing an "excellent" or "good" job, similar to former President Donald Trump's rating at the same point in his term.
"Democratic support for him has gone from close to 80% approval to just under 60%, and he's also registered similar support among independents so this isn't just a story of partisanship, this is a story of your own base leaving you and swing voters not being wild about you," Yost said.
According to the poll, Biden's job ratings since August among Democrats have declined from 78% to 58%; among independents, from 38% to 25%; among liberals, from 79% to 68%; and among moderates, from 50% to 38%. The poll was conducted Feb. 21-27.
"The real key to a positive job approval rating is being really strong among your partisans and attracting independents," Yost said. "People in the other party are going to be generally against you."
Despite a strong economy and job growth, inflation appears to eclipse positive economic news with 35% of poll respondents saying they are "worse off" financially than a year ago, among them a majority of Republicans and conservatives, and a quarter of Democrats and independents.
For the right-direction/wrong-track question, 32% of voters say Pennsylvania is headed in the right direction and 77% of the voters who say they are "worse off" financially also say the state is headed in the wrong direction.
As concerns about COVID-19 recede, the economy, including unemployment and personal finances, is the biggest concern for 21% of respondents while concerns about government and politicians in the state remains high at 19%.
More of the state's registered voters plan to support a Republican candidate for Congress, 42% Republican versus 38% Democrat, the poll says. In March 2018, Democrats held a seven-point advantage in congressional preference, 42% to 35%.
In this year's U.S. Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Pat Toomey, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman remains first for 28% of Democrats with U.S. Rep. Connor Lamb following at 15%. The Republican primary field remains virtually open with David McCormick at 13%, Carla Sands at 11% and Dr. Mehmet Oz at 10%.
For more about primary elections in general, including why there are so many candidates in primaries, check out the F&M Poll's May 2021 newsletter.
The F&M Poll, like all surveys, is a snapshot of a specific point in time, not a forecast. All polls have variability; voters change their minds; and events after a survey can sometimes influence voters' decisions, including whether to vote at all.
Conducted by the Center for Opinion Research at F&M, the poll reflects interviews with 490 Pennsylvania likely voters, including 223 Democrats, 200 Republicans and 67 independents. The sample error is plus or minus 6.1 percentage points.
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