A recent private poll obtained by the White House in mid-September revealed that only 35 percent of Americans trusted Democrats more on economic issues. This data raised concerns about the public’s negative outlook despite expressing support for President Biden’s policy agenda. Surprisingly, even after being informed about improvements in inflation and unemployment, 7 out of 10 people still believed that the economy was not getting better.
Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green, who conducted the polling alongside Data for Progress, expressed his shock at the lack of impact their efforts had on voters. The findings of these private polling sessions, which were held with members of Biden’s inner circle and top aides, shed light on the White House’s awareness that their economic message was not resonating.
Democrats have been worried about Biden’s low economic approval ratings for months, with some urging the administration to abandon the “Bidenomics” branding that has been used to describe the president’s economic agenda. However, Biden’s advisers remain confident that their strategy will be successful in the long term.
During the private polling sessions, Biden officials explored different messages to close the gap in polling deficit. They discussed strategies such as directly targeting Republicans over tax cuts during the Trump era and reigniting the debate over Social Security. The aim was to acknowledge the pain experienced by the public while shifting the blame to Trump for mismanaging the economy.
The White House viewed the polling as confirmation that Biden’s economic agenda is popular, but the challenge lies in convincing voters to credit him for it. Senior officials acknowledge the need to raise awareness about Biden’s contributions to the economy. However, there is little indication that Americans’ outlook on the economy is improving, leading to frustration among Biden’s aides.
Despite significant achievements such as the booming job market and record job growth, voters continue to blame the administration for rising costs of living. Their lack of appreciation for Biden’s progress has surprised even his staunchest supporters. Recent polls have shown that Biden is trailing former President Trump in key swing states on economic issues.
The private polling conducted by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Data for Progress revealed that voters overwhelmingly supported Biden’s agenda but felt that they had not heard enough about it from the president. The polling also highlighted the need for the White House to distinguish its stance on major issues from the Republicans.
Green and Deiseroth, who conducted the polling, suggested that the administration should refine its messaging on Bidenomics by focusing on popular policies and creating tension points to engage Republicans. They even proposed that Biden propose an expansion of Social Security funded by higher taxes on billionaires to generate a debate on the topic.
Overall, the White House is aware of the challenges it faces in convincing voters about the improvements in the economy. The success of Biden’s economic argument will depend on better defining Bidenomics and dispelling any fears associated with it.