Lauren Moye, FISM News
Less than a quarter of Americans believe that the U.S. is currently “on the right track” according to a new Harvard-CAPS Harris Poll and only 6% of respondents were “unsure” or “didn’t know,” showing that one of the few things Americans can agree on these days is the pessimism of America’s current direction.
The recently released June poll paints a bleak picture of how voters perceive the current economy. Only 28% of respondents felt like the economy today was strong, down 12 points from April’s results and almost two-thirds said their personal finances “were getting worse.” Additionally, a large majority, 88%, of voters either believe we are already in a recession or will begin one within 12 months.
The economic woes and the impact on President Joe Biden’s current approval rating are well documented. From June 2021 to June 2022, his approval rating has steadily dropped from 62% to 38%. He received low marks everywhere from his ability to stimulate jobs to foreign affairs to dealing with violence within the country.
According to the poll, Biden’s highest approval comes from his coronavirus response. Even that isn’t anything to brag about, though, with it bringing in only a 50% approval rating. His lowest mark was in response to how he has handled inflation, with only a 28% approval rate. Most Americans also now believe Biden is too old, at 64%, and mentally unfit, at 60%, to be president.
In fact, Americans seem to be frustrated with politicians at all levels and from all parties. Congress’s approval rating set a new record low with only 28% of respondents claiming they approve of how Congress is doing its job. While voter approval of the GOP has dropped slowly from 50% in March to 45% in the latest Harris poll, Democrats have been bouncing around the low 40s for most of the year.
The hypothetical horse race polls further illustrate growing weariness. Although former President Donald Trump is the clear favorite for the GOP 2024 presidential nomination and Biden is the Democrat’s favorite, Americans would rather not see either of them run again. Overall, 71% of voters do not believe Biden should run again. Respondents’ most popular reason was “he’s a bad president.”
Although, according to the poll, Trump would beat Biden in a hypothetical presidential election 43% to 40%, and Democratic runner-up Kamala Harris by a greater margin of 45% to 39%, voters still don’t want to see Trump run. Nearly two-thirds, 61%, said he should not run, with reasons divided between “he’s erratic,” “he will divide America,” and “he’s responsible for January 6th.”
Besides Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is the clear GOP favorite for the 2024 presidential candidate slot. However, he lost a hypothetical race against Harris 39% to 37%.
Amid fears of a red wave in the upcoming midterm elections, liberals who hope pro-abortion rhetoric will curry voter approval after the recent Roe v. Wade overturn might be in for a surprise. “Women’s rights” only gained a 6-point boost between the May and June Harris polls as a priority issue in the country. It ranks 5th overall with only a 17% ranking.
The controversial Supreme Court overturn looks to have no net change on midterm election results according to the poll, with 36% of voters saying they are more likely to vote Democrat after the decision compared to 36% who say they are now more likely to vote for GOP candidates.
Considering that 31% of Democrat voters responded in the Harris Poll as supporting the Roe overturn, liberals could risk alienating part of their own voting bloc if they campaign too heavily on abortion rights. A slight majority, 55%, of Harris Poll respondents oppose the SCOTUS decision in Dobbs v. Jackson.
However, there is a majority favor across all parties to limit abortion to 15 weeks or under, a decision that never could have been legally achieved while Roe v. Wade stood. This includes 60% of Democrats, 84% of Republicans, and 70% of independent voters. Three-quarters of women and 71% of men responded that this should be the limit.