Alarm bells should be going off in the White House after a new poll showed that President Joe Biden is hemorrhaging support among a voter demographic critical to winning presidential elections.
What are the details?
The Associated Press-NORC poll shows that Biden's approval rating sits at 50% while his disapproval rating stands at 49%. In this particular poll, Biden's approval has tanked nearly 10 points since July when the same survey found Biden's approval rating to be 59%.
But the real story is how poorly Biden is viewed by independent voters, the demographic critical to winning the White House.
Since July, Biden has hemorrhaged more than 20 points among independent voters; only 38% of independents now approve of Biden, according to the poll, whereas 62% approved of him just two months ago. Biden even lost seven points among Democrats, down to 85% approval from 92% in July.
Among black Americans, Biden's support has cratered from 86% to 64% in just two months. The AP tried to soften the blow by characterizing the massive decrease as Biden's support among black Americans having "dipped somewhat."
In its story covering the bad news for Biden, the AP attempted to draw blame toward former President Donald Trump:
In follow-up interviews, some of those who had mixed feelings about Biden's performance still saw him as preferable to former President Donald Trump. They said that Biden was dealing with a pandemic that began under the former president, an Afghanistan withdrawal negotiated on Trump's behalf and an economy that tilted in favor of corporations and the wealthy because of Trump's tax cuts.
"Trump had a lot to do with what's going on now," said Acarla Strickland, 41, a health care worker from Atlanta who voted for Biden yet now feels lukewarm about him.
However, Trump cannot be blamed for Biden's self-inflicted wounds.
Not only is Biden facing massive legislative battles on Capitol Hill that are not going in his favor, but the COVID-19 pandemic has ranged on under his leadership, as has the border crisis, which has generated bipartisan blame. Biden also presided over the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, with resulted in more American casualties.
Not only is support for Biden cratering, but another poll shows his promise to unify America is becoming a foregone possibility.
The poll — conducted by the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia in partnership with Project Home Fire — discovered that 41% of Biden supporters and 52% of Trump supporters agree the United States should be split between Republican-controlled states and Democratic-controlled states.