The reaction one co-host of "The View" had Monday when Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News personality, charged that President Joe Biden must win support from independent voters, should have Democrats everywhere worried about upcoming elections.
During a segment where the panel discussed recent opinions from pollsters, Carlson said Biden "100%" needs to court independent voters. But that did not go over well with co-host Sunny Hostin.
"Listen, it always comes down to the pocketbook, I think, for independents, and so they are worried about inflation, they're worried about the supply chain coming in, especially with Christmas and Hanukkah approaching," Carlson said. "I think that price tag is everything."
Carlson then noted that Biden campaigned on being a moderate, and suggested that Biden needs to win independent voters to find success in the White House. Hostin, however, took immediate objection with Carlson's analysis.
"See, I disagree with that," Hostin said. "That sounded very Republican of you."
"No! It's very independent," Carlson shot back. "I'm not a Republican. I'm an independent."
"But it sounded Republican," Hostin responded.
Hostin went on to claim that a majority of independent voters are not truly independent, but rather are shy about revealing their true political allegiance.
Is Carlson right?
Recent polling shows Carlson to be right.
Regardless of why independent voters identify themselves as such, all polls over the last several months show that Biden is backsliding with independents.
A Gallup poll released last week showed that Biden's approval among independent voters has cratered 27% since February from 61% to 34%. A Quinnipiac poll, also released last week, showed Biden's approval is down to 28% among independents — including a disapproval rating twice that among the same demographic.
"It's a real problem for Biden that the most moveable group of voters now largely disapproves of the job he is doing as president," Geoffrey Skelley wrote at FiveThirtyEight.
Aside from Biden's presidential blunders, like the botched Afghanistan withdrawal and the ongoing border crisis, Biden's backsliding among independents can be attributed to his policy priorities. While Biden prioritizes climate change, massive social spending, and raising taxes on wealthy Americans, polls show that independent voters care most about the economy — including inflation and supply chain issues — and the COVID-19 pandemic.
If the trend continues, Democrats will have a difficult time keeping Biden in the White House past 2024, let alone defending their majority in Congress through the 2022 midterm elections.