Sunday, June 27, 2021


According to the Washington Examiner, there's a new poll that suggests Joe Biden is in deep trouble.
The Biden administration is failing big time with its inability to control illegal immigration, adding it to one of several issues that could doom Democrats if left unchecked.

In a new Harvard/Harris poll, an overwhelming 80% said that illegal immigration is a serious issue and one that needs more attention than what President Joe Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris are giving.

What’s more, 68% said that signals from Biden’s White House are encouraging illegal immigration, and 55% believe that former President Donald Trump’s border closing policies should have been left in place.

Pollster Mark Penn sized up the results this way: “Immigration is boiling up as an issue.”

Add it to increasing voter concerns about inflation, taxes, and the critical race theory controversy, and this could be a summer of woe for Democrats. “These are not good numbers for Democrats,” said an adviser to House Republicans.
This is odd because, when I click over to the detailed poll results, I see that the president's numbers are just fine, if occasionally presented somewhat oddly.

(Do you see a "shift" there? I don't. The only persistent change I see is a decline in Biden's "strongly disapprove" numbers.)

Biden has majority support for his handling of many issues -- including, yes, immigration:

But all this is in the first part of the survey. The second part of the survey, by former Clinton strategist turned Fox News regular and Trump adviser Mark Penn, was either a push poll or an effort to test the effectiveness of Republican anti-Biden messaging.

So, yes, 85% of survey respondents are concerned about inflation (although, disappointingly for Penn and the GOP, 55% have at least some confidence in Biden's ability to stave it off).

An overwhelming majority of respondents (78%) think Biden should sign a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and not hold out for a larger bill. However, that's what's they say when "hold out" is part of the question. When they're asked about two bills, they're in favor of more money (sorry, Mark).

And that's true even though the additional cash is described as "social spending."

But yes, 80% of survey respondents believe illegal immigration is a serious issue -- though when they're asked to name the three most important issues facing America today, they're less inclined to name immigration (24% named it, down from 31% in Penn's previous survey, probably because Fox News has shifted from wall-to-wall CRISIS AT THE BORDER!!! to CRITICAL RACE THEORY WILL DESTROY AMERICA!!!). But Penn lays it on thick here, with questions such as "Is the flood of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minor children the fault of the Biden administration or the Trump administration?" and "Do you think climate change, racism and sexism are root causes of migration from South and Central America or are they not the root causes?" Penn mostly gets the responses he wants to these questions, as well as to questions such as "Do you believe that kids in elementary school should be taught that America is structurally racist and is dominated by white supremacy or should they not be taught this?"

But Biden is still at 59% approval. Maybe that number would have gone done if respondents had been asked again at the end of the survey what they think of Biden -- a responsible pollster who was upfront about using the survey to do partisan message testing would have asked them again, but Penn didn't.

However, this kind of right-wing framing doesn't reach everybody in America, and as a result, Biden's numbers remain strong.


There's one disturbing result in the first part of the poll:

The Democratic Party also has positive numbers (holding steady at 55% approval, 45% disapproval), so at least some respondents approve of both parties, which may be a consequence of a generalized optimism. (Most respondents in this survey think the economy is strong, and even Congress gets high marks.) But we should be worried if more than half the public approves of the modern GOP. It suggests that prostrating themselves before Trump makes Republicans look better, not worse, in much of the public's eyes, and that Democrats' talk of bipartisanship is also making Republicans look better. That's not good for Democrats as we approach 2022 and 2024.

Or perhaps this result is completely unreliable. It certainly doesn't jibe with what other pollsters are telling us:

In a sane country, the party of Trump, Greene, Gaetz and Gosar would struggle to reach 30% approval. Whichever one of these polls is closer to accurate, the GOP's numbers are too high.

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