As we near the end of 2021 and get ready for next year’s mid-term election cycle, the two political parties are jostling to reach the higher ground with voters. David Winston, a respected Republican pollster who does issues research for the Congressional Institute, writes in Roll Call that so far, voters are less than impressed with the White House’s leadership. That could spell trouble for House Democrats and give House Republicans a chance to retake the Majority.
Winston makes the point clear: “When presidents, in their first year, decide to ignore voters’ top priorities in favor of delivering their party base’s top priorities, they often pay the price in their first midterm election.”
What priorities? Winston wrote:
In a recent survey for the S Corporation Association, The Winston Group asked voters, ‘Which is the more important priority for the country?’
Twenty-one percent picked passing Biden’s Build Back Better plan. Sixty-eight percent chose ‘dealing with inflation and scarcity of goods caused by supply chain problems.’
Independents were even more emphatic, favoring the second option 72 percent to 12 percent.
Winston pointed out – as many have – President Joe Biden’s declining approval rates accompanied by an increasing disapproval rating. In a survey The Winston Group did for Winning the Issues last month, the President’s numbers were a dismal 42 percent and, for House Democrats, even more alarming 47 percent disapproval.
More from the column:
Political leaders have to address the priorities of the electorate. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Biden is not just off message with Build Back Better, he’s off policy priorities; and it’s showing in his numbers.
… Joe Biden was elected to do three things — win the war against COVID-19, bring the economy back and unify the country. He’s done none of them.
It’s not just Republican pollsters who are pointing out this disconnect between the White House’s policy focus and what the American is looking for in terms of leadership. Representative Abigail Spanberger, who represents Virginia’s 7th District and is a Democrat, told the New York Times, “Nobody elected [President Biden] to be F.D.R., they elected him to be normal and stop the chaos.”
As inflation continues to hit American families and supply chain issues look like they will make Christmas a little less cheerful, Congress would be smart to focus on, as Winston wrote, the “kitchen table agenda that would address issues that people care most about.”