Best News for Biden

Biden Polling

             Pearl River      Polls are tricky barometers of public sentiment these days.  We hardly know which ones, if any, to believe.  People don’t respond anymore, and those that do may not be representative.  It’s a bit like allowing Iowa and New Hampshire to pretend to speak for America.  Nonetheless, President Biden has been battered by the polls throughout his term, sitting now by their lights at the lowest level for an incumbent president facing re-election since Jimmy Carter went to the lists.  He and his people constantly bemoan the fact that he’s not getting the credit for the economy and its improvement or much else of what more objective observers might judge to be an effective administration, even if not a popular one.

He may be getting some career saving good news now, and it’s not what you might think.  Sure, he and his campaign have been hoping for a rematch with former President Trump, believing that’s their best shot at a repeat of the 2020 victory.  He and his hardcore, diehard base are delivering with a beatdown in Iowa and heavy odds in the coming contests in New Hampshire and especially South Carolina, against both Nikki Haley and what is left of Ron DeSantis.  For other less partisan, neutral observers, many believe that Biden may regret what he had hoped for and rue Election Day heralding a comeback for Trump.  The consensus from the rich and corporate playground at Davos, Switzerland reportedly has come to the foregone conclusion that Trump will beat Biden in November, not that they have a good record as political soothsayers.

The real good news that might salvage Biden’s re-election is the polls indicating a warming from the public on how they see the economy, and therefore their prospects improving.  Rattling the bones of a new survey from the University of Michigan, reported by the Wall Street Journal, could save him:

Consumer sentiment surged 29% since November, the biggest two-month increase since 1991, the University of Michigan said …adding to gauges showing improving moods. It’s a sharp turn after persistently high inflation, the lingering shock from the pandemic’s destruction and fears that a recession was around the corner had put a damper on feelings about the economy in recent years, despite solid growth and consistent hiring. Now Americans are bucking up as inflation cools and the Federal Reserve signals that interest-rate increases are likely behind us. And with the solid labor market putting money in the bank accounts of freely spending consumers, recession fears for 2024 are fading. Consumer sentiment leapt 13% in the first half of January from December … after a sharp rise the prior month. The pickup in sentiment was broad-based, spanning consumers of different age, income, education and geography.

No one should ever suffer from premature certainty, so there are no guarantees here, but at the same time there is a lot of time between January and November.  If wars and fear of wars decreases.  If the market continues to deliver.  If, most importantly, the economy continues to stabilize and improve heading towards pre-pandemic levels, this could be unassailable support for so-called Bidenomics, which combined with Trump being Trump and Trump in one trial after another, could put Biden back on top for a second term.