CNN’s King Frets Bad Biden Poll: His Successes Aren’t ‘Sinking in Out in America’

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CNN’s latest poll dropped Thursday afternoon and, while Inside Politics host John King went through the devastating numbers for President Biden (including 58 percent disapproval), he sought to cushion the blow by insisting his many accomplishments aren’t “sinking in out in America” and stemmed form a “failure to communicate” by the White House.

King started with the top line number of 41 percent approval to 58 percent disapproval, calling it a “bad” and “tough number” for any president headed into a midterm election. As for why, King noted a “fascinating” finding of when, King’s words, voters were asked “what has President Biden done for you that you approve of,” 56 percent said “nothing” or “disapprove of” everything he’s done.

Acknowledging the American Rescue Plan and the bipartisan infrastructure plan, King spun the poll numbers in a somewhat optimistic tone as signs not of incompetence or a failure of progressivism, but rather a feeling their deeds haven’t been “sinking in out in America.”

King went down the list of things other voters expressed satisfaction with before offering more spin:

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15 percent say the President has helped with the economy. Six percent say the coronavirus is taught, see here his personal traits, foreign policy, other issues but that is a stunning number of the failure to communicate the legitimate successes of the Biden administration and without a doubt, the COVID pandemic is dragging the President down. His standing on COVID is underwater. 

Noting strong majorities of respondents described their psyche on COVID-19 as “angry” and “burned out,” King said that attitude has made it “hard for the President to break through, even if things are getting better.”

Prior to bringing in his panel, he highlighted Biden’s 62 percent disapproval on the economy but, again, he offered qualifiers:

The unemployment rate is down. The President did create a record number of jobs. 62 percent of Americans disapprove of the President’s handling of the economy because they are paying more at the grocery store and at the pump every day.

A few minutes later, he circled back to the 56 percent rating of Americans saying they haven’t felt like Biden’s done anything positive for them and lamented “the American Rescue Plan…had a lot of help for American families” and the infrastructure bill was “an enormous, big deal” even though “Americans don’t feel it yet.”

Talking to another panelist, King played psychologist in gaming out how and when Americans could give Biden higher marks for simply trying to help the country:

Even if the Fed gets this right, it’s going to take a couple months. The question is, at what point does the psychology of the voter kick in that, okay, President was dealt a tough hand. It is getting better. Let me — let me turn, change my mind and give him some credit because the numbers right now and where the intensity is in the electorate. Look at this, how is the President handling his job? 15 percent of Americans say they approve strongly, 27 percent say they approve moderately. Look at that disapprove strongly, 41 percent.

King’s soft landings were brought to you by advertisers such as Ensure and Whole Foods Market. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant CNN transcript from February 10, click “expand.”

CNN’s Inside Politics
February 10, 2022
12:04 p.m. Eastern

JOHN KING: Let’s get to our new CNN poll numbers, now brand-new numbers. And you’re going to see how inflation and broader doubts about the COVID recovery are dragging down the President’s standing. Let’s just go first to the threshold number you always focus on the midterm election year. Do you approve of President Biden’s job performance? We’ll look at how bad these numbers are for the President. Only four in 10 Americans, 41 percent at the moment approve of his job performance. Nearly six in 10 — 58 percent — disapprove. That’s a tough number for early in a midterm election year for the President of the United States. Now why is this happening? This is fascinating. We asked people: what has President Biden done for you that you approve of? 56 percent of Americans — nearly six in 10 Americans, that means, a decent amount of Democrats — said nothing, they disapprove of everything that has happened. Now, yes, the President would say, we passed the Rescue Plan. We passed the bipartisan infrastructure plan. It is not sinking in out in America. 56 percent of Americans say nothing. They disapprove of everything that has happened so far. 15 percent say the President has helped with the economy. Six percent say the coronavirus is taught, see here his personal traits, foreign policy, other issues but that is a stunning number of the failure to communicate the legitimate successes of the Biden administration and without a doubt, the COVID pandemic is dragging the President down. His standing on COVID is underwater. Why? Look at this. 75 percent of Americans say they are burned out. 60 percent say they are angry. 58 percent say they are worried. Half — 49 percent — say they’re confused, 47 percent do say they’re optimistic, so as the numbers come down, maybe the President can turn this dynamic. But right now, you just have a burned-out angry country, it’s hard for the President to break through, even if things are getting better. And to the inflation and the economy, just look at the line here. The President’s approval rating on the economy was 49 percent back in March, it is down 12 points to 37 percent. Disapproval in the economy, 44 percent in March, 62 percent. That is the toll of inflation right there. The unemployment rate is down. The President did create a record number of jobs. 62 percent of Americans disapprove of the President’s handling of the economy because they are paying more at the grocery store and at the pump every day.

(….)

12:07 p.m. Eastern

KING: And it’s striking, Seung Min, when you look at it, that 56 percent say nothing, they disapprove of all. You know, whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, independent, they passed the American Rescue Plan, which had a lot of help for American families in it. They passed the bipartisan infrastructure plan, which is still just starting to kick in, but that was an enormous, big deal. And yet Americans don’t feel it yet.

(….)

12:08 p.m. Eastern

KING: It’s going to take couple months. Even if the Fed gets this right, it’s going to take a couple months. The question is, at what point does the psychology of the voter kick in that, okay, President was dealt a tough hand. It is getting better. Let me — let me turn, change my mind and give him some credit because the numbers right now and where the intensity is in the electorate. Look at this, how is the President handling his job? 15 percent of Americans say they approve strongly, 27 percent say they approve moderately. Look at that disapprove strongly, 41 percent. Again, a midterm election year, it’s all about energy, anx — and sometimes anger drives midterm politics. Right now, the President’s critics, they feel very strongly, and the President’s supporters are meh.

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