Poll: Joe Biden’s Sinking Approval Rating Endangers Democrats Coast to Coast

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 30: U.S. President Joe Biden meets virtually with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and governors and mayors from states and cities impacted by Hurricane Ida in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on August 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Category 4 hurricane …
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President Joe Biden’s approval rating is massively underwater in several states nationwide heading into the 2022 midterm elections after his deadly Afghanistan withdrawal, according to polling by Civiqs.

Per this survey, Biden’s disapproval rating is higher than his approval rating in several key states in the upcoming midterm elections, including in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The only state this survey shows Biden above water in — New Hampshire — has him up by a slim margin, but a separate survey published Wednesday showed Biden underwater there too.

Sean Trende, the senior elections analyst for RealClearPolitics, noted the disastrous numbers for Biden and Democrats, suggesting also that Biden’s lack of hardcore supporters means he and his party could be headed for a scenario in which they “completely collapse” next year:

These numbers are important because presidents typically help candidates from their party down-ticket. In this case, if the 2022 midterms were held today, Biden could be a serious drag on Democrats in House to Senate to governor races coast to coast.

For Republicans to retake the House majority next year, they need to only win back a net five pickups from Democrats — and several retirements of senior Democrats like Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) combined with coming redistricting along with already-completed reapportionment of congressional districts portends badly for their chances on that front. But to retake the Senate, the GOP needs to flip just one net seat back from Democrat control — which may seem like an easier task but, given the map, is actually a bit harder than retaking the House because the GOP needs to defend several seats with retiring longtime senators.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

To get that majority back, in addition to flipping one Democrat seat, Republicans need to hold seats in Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania — all of which have retiring Republican senators — as well as in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Florida, where as of now the incumbent Republican senators are running for reelection. Pickup opportunities for Republicans to take one back from Democrats include Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and possibly Illinois.

In addition, governors’ races nationwide also represent an opportunity for Republicans to make some gains. And of course, these poor performance numbers for Biden could spoil more House Democrat candidates than would otherwise lose or leave, having a trickling negative effect on the party.

State-by-state, Biden’s sinking approval rating — and rising disapproval — could have serious consequences, as follows:

Arizona:

Per this poll, Biden is underwater 12 percent (41 percent approve and 53 percent disapprove).

Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) faces reelection. It is as-of-yet unclear who the GOP nominee will be.

GOP Gov. Doug Ducey is term-limited and this governor’s race is expected to be competitive no matter who is nominated by each party.

Colorado:

The Civiqs poll has Biden underwater by four percent (44 percent approve and 48 percent disapprove).

Both Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Democrat Gov. Jared Polis face reelection next year.

Florida:

Civiqs has Biden underwater 11 percent (41 percent approve and 52 percent disapprove).

Both Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis face reelection next year. Rubio will face Democrat Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) while DeSantis could face either Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) — the former governor who previously was a Republican but switched parties to join the Democrats — or state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

Georgia:

Civiqs has Biden underwater 12 percent (40 percent approve and 52 percent disapprove).

Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), elected in this January’s runoff election, faces reelection, as does embattled Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. Retired NFL star Herschel Walker just jumped into the crowded GOP Senate primary after being urged to run by former President Donald Trump. It is unclear whom Kemp would face if he gets to the general election, but he needs to win a contested primary first and he has drawn Trump’s ire big time since the 2020 election.

Kansas:

Civiqs has Biden underwater 27 percent (33 percent approve and 60 percent disapprove).

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) is running for reelection with Trump’s endorsement and is likely to coast to victory. But Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly is considered especially vulnerable, and depending on whom the GOP nominates, the Republicans think they can take this one back.

Maine:

The poll has Biden underwater by three percent (45 percent approve and 48 percent disapprove).

Democrat Gov. Janet T. Mills faces reelection and will likely square off against former GOP Gov. Paul LePage, a huge recruit for Republicans. This could have serious down-ticket implications for the U.S. House, as well, as Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) — who represents Maine’s second congressional district, which Trump won in both 2016 and 2020 — faces possible defeat next year too.

Michigan:

Civiqs has Biden underwater seven percent (43 percent approve and 50 percent disapprove).

Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a star of her party, faces reelection next year, likely against former Detroit police chief James Craig. The battle — which could hinge on her stringent coronavirus restrictions, her personal corruption concerns, and law and order and police battles — may be one of, if not the, landmark races in America next year.

Minnesota:

The poll shows Biden is underwater four percent (44 percent approve and 48 percent disapprove).

Democrat Gov. Tim Walz faces reelection in a state Trump nearly won in 2016 but fell short of in 2020. But down-ticket important House races for both parties will happen here too and could determine the party that wins the majority — or how big that majority is for either side.

Missouri:

Biden is underwater 26 percent, per Civiqs (34 percent approve and 60 percent disapprove).

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) is retiring, and a competitive GOP primary is underway to succeed him. The leading candidate per polling is former Gov. Eric Greitens, but he is challenged by the much more establishment Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) among others. This seat is expected to stay in Republican hands, but Missouri did elect a Democrat — former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) — to the U.S. Senate in recent history.

Nevada:

Civiqs shows Biden is underwater two percent (45 percent approve and 47 percent disapprove).

Both Democrat Gov. Steve Sisolak and Democrat Sen. Cathy Cortez Masto (D-NV) face reelection next year, with Cortez Masto likely facing Republican and former Attorney General Adam Laxalt — who just won Trump’s endorsement. His entrance into the race, a coup for Republicans who sought a strong candidate, makes this Senate seat much more competitive than it was before. Sisolak, meanwhile, has struggled with onerous coronavirus restrictions in Nevada during the pandemic, choking businesses in Las Vegas and statewide, and could face former Democrat-turned-Republican mayor of North Las Vegas, John Lee, in the general election. Two Democrat House members — Reps. Susie Lee (D-NV) and Steven Horsford (D-NV) — are also in potential trouble as the House majority for Democrats shakes on its way into 2022.

New Hampshire:

Biden is, per Civiqs, up by three percent (48 percent approve and 45 percent disapprove).

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) faces a tough reelection battle, and it is unclear as of yet whom she will face, but Republicans hope Republican Gov. Chris Sununu will enter the race against her. If he does, his popularity gives him a serious shot at toppling her, but even if he does not, the GOP hopes it can flip this seat back into Republican hands since it fell to Democrats in 2016. if Sununu does not run for Senate, he is almost certainly a lock for reelection as governor. If he does run for Senate, the GOP hopes it can hold the governor’s mansion too. Down-ticket, Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) is a top target for Republicans nationwide, and the GOP got a boost this week with former Trump State Department official Matt Mowers — the 2020 GOP nominee in that district — getting back in the race again.

New Mexico:

Biden, per Civiqs, is underwater ten percent (41 percent approve and 51 percent disapprove).

Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham faces reelection and is likely to face a strong Republican challenge.

North Carolina:

Biden, per Civiqs, is underwater six percent (43 percent approve and 49 percent disapprove).

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) is retiring, and a three-way primary to replace him is led by Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) — who has Trump’s endorsement. Also running are former Gov. Pat McRory and former Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC). The Democrats are likely to try to defeat whoever wins this primary in the general election, but Trump’s wins in 2016 and 2020 here and Biden’s poor performance do not bode well for them.

Ohio:

Biden, per Civiqs, is underwater 17 percent (38 percent approve and 55 percent disapprove).

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) is retiring, and a very competitive multiway GOP primary is currently underway to replace him with former state treasurer Josh Mandel, author J.D. Vance, businessmen Bernie Moreno and Mike Gibbons, and former state GOP chair Jane Timken leading the field. On the Democrat side, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) is likely to be their nominee, but he faces a crowded primary too.

As for the governor’s mansion, incumbent Republican Gov. Mike DeWine faces reelection — but he would need to get through a primary from former Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) first.

Pennsylvania:

Per Civiqs, Biden is underwater ten percent (41 percent approve and 51 percent disapprove).

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) is retiring, and Afghanistan veteran Sean Parnell — who just got Trump’s endorsement — leads the field to replace him on the ticket. On the Democrat side, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) are both vying for the nomination to face off against whomever the GOP nominates, likely Parnell.

In the governor’s race, Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf is term-limited out of office, so Republicans are hopeful they can take this one back in 2022. Former Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), an early Trump backer in 2016, currently leads the field, but state Sen. Doug Mastriano is also reportedly considering a bid.

Several House seats in Pennsylvania, like the one Lamb is abandoning for his Senate bid and the ones currently held by Reps. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) and Susan Wild (D-PA), are also likely to be competitive.

Texas:

Biden, per Civiqs, is underwater 25 percent (34 percent approve and 59 percent disapprove).

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott faces reelection at the top of the ticket, but Texas also has several competitive U.S. House seats, including perhaps most notably right along the U.S. border with Mexico where Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) could lose a seat Democrats have held for more than a century to Republican challenger Monica de la Cruz-Hernandez. Gonzalez is a top target for Republicans, and Texas also gained a congressional seat in reapportionment after the Census, so things could get interesting in the Lone Star State.

Virgina:

Biden, per Civiqs, is underwater five percent (44 percent approve and 49 percent disapprove).

Virginia’s governor’s race, coming up in November this year, is going to be one of the biggest barometers ahead of the midterm elections as to which party is up and which is down. Outgoing Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, is term-limited as the state only allows one term consecutively for governors. Former Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe, however, is running for his old job against Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin. The race is getting heated, and several national issues like Critical Race Theory in schools as well as Democrats’ mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic are hot-button topics in this upcoming contest.

Wisconsin:

Biden is underwater six percent, per Civiqs (44 percent approve and 50 percent disapprove).

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), the incumbent, is expected to run for reelection next year, though he has not yet formally announced a campaign. Democrats convinced Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes to run against him. This race will be a banner race that could determine control of the upper chamber of Congress.

Democrat Gov. Tony Evers is running for reelection despite unpopular coronavirus mandates and lockdowns and could face former Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch if she decides to run and wins a primary in the general election. A GOP pickup opportunity, this race will also be a banner race for governor.

Down-ticket in Wisconsin, the announcement from Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) — the longtime Democrat House member — that he is retiring, clearing the way for Republican candidate Derrick Van Orden means the Democrats are most likely down yet another seat. However, Van Orden has warned that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not giving this one up without a fight and to expect a handpicked candidate of hers to challenge him for it.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.

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