Inflation and supply chain constraints are two politically troublesome issues facing Biden’s administration.
A recent poll found that fewer respondents believed he cared about voters like them.
Since his inauguration, Biden’s approval rating has dropped dramatically.
According to Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy, he attributes this decline to disapproval with regard to his handling of the economy, foreign policy, and even the COVID-19 pandemic, once thought to be an advantage for him in elections.
“Empathy has always been his strong suit, but even his ‘cares about you’ number has taken a hit,” Malloy told the Washington Examiner of Biden.
Researchers do not consistently include the character polling question, according to Malloy, so respondents can interpret it however they want, despite former President Donald Trump’s poor performance.
“It covers a lot of bases, but concern for America’s families is certainly woven into the question,” he explained.
“There is always time to gain ground. An end to the pandemic nightmare, a strengthening of the economy, and a sense that border issues are under control would go a long way toward that.”
Following a dip in polling during the summer, Biden’s job approval rating had stabilized.
Meanwhile, Biden’s job approval rate as president is 42%, according to RealClearPolitics, compared to 52% disapproval.
Despite this, less than half of respondents – two out of five – last month told Morning Consult researchers that Biden cares about voters like them. Those numbers represent a 15-percentage-point decline from 53% in April.
Morning Consult’s findings contradict Biden’s belief that empathy is one of his greatest assets.
During his 2020 campaign, his ability to connect with people combined with his technocratic competence provided an important contrast to his opponent at the time, Donald Trump.
According to Suffolk University Political Research Center director David Paleologos, people tend to use a scapegoat to vent their frustrations. Paeologos said the president has been the first person for people to vent against on the political scene.
“The thought process is, ‘If he cared more, my day-to-day challenges wouldn’t be so bad,'” Paleologos explained.
Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray highlighted Biden’s apparent gap between his policies and the priorities of normal people as a hindrance to his empathetic outreach.
“This week we asked whether [the] federal government [helped or] hurt you,” he added.
More than a quarter of respondents in that Monmouth poll believe the federal government has been helpful in resolving their top concern during the past year.
Researchers also found that a similar percentage of people said the federal government had not had any impact on it, while 46% felt it had hurt it all. About one-third of respondents felt the same way in July.
In almost half a century as a politician, Joe Biden has made small talk to all types of people and given speeches to all types of crowds.
His perceived ability to empathize has been compromised by the effort to be seen as sensitive to the hardships faced by consumers amid the pandemic, as the price of goods rises and supply chain problems threaten to complicate the holiday season.
“There are items every year that sell out, that are hard to find,” Biden said during a prepared White House speech on supply chains.
“Some of you moms and dads may remember Cabbage Patch Kids back in the ‘80s or Beanie Babies in the ‘90s, or other toys that have run out at Christmas time in past years when there was no supply chain problem.”
In October, White House press secretary Jen Psaki popped up behind her podium to discuss supply chain bottlenecks in a callous manner.
“It was clear in March of 2020, when COVID hit, that the supply chains across the world had been disrupted,” a reporter commented.
“People couldn’t get dishwashers and furniture and treadmills delivered on time, not to mention all sorts of other things.”
“The tragedy of the treadmill that’s delayed,” Psaki quipped in response.
His withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan weakened his claim to empathy and competence.
Some loved ones of the 13 soldiers who died in the terrorist attack by ISIS-K on the capital’s airport complained that Biden kept checking his watch during the dignified transfer ceremony.
“His message to all of the family members who were there — those who were not even in attendance — is that he is grateful to their sons and daughters,” said Psaki.
“He knows firsthand what it’s like to lose a child and the fact that no one can tell you anything or say anything — or there are no words that are going to fill that hole that is left by that.”