One can only play dodgeball for so long before they got bombed by their own side. Joe Biden’s attempts to dodge responsibility for inflation by shifting blame to Vladimir Putin and greedy corporations have not fooled too many people, according to a new TIPP poll conducted in partnership with Issues & Insights. The “Putin price hike” line isn’t even selling among Democrats, a majority of whom blame Biden in significant part for soaring inflation:
Of those responding, 64% said Biden was “responsible,” choosing either “very responsible” (38%) or “somewhat responsible” (26%). Just 25% answered “not responsible”, with 17% saying “not very responsible” but a far-smaller 8% saying “not at all responsible.” “Not sure” was 10%.
But most surprising of all, Democrats have thrown in the towel on Biden’s economic leadership, with 53% blaming Biden’s policies for inflation vs. 39% saying they weren’t responsible.
Indeed, of all the major demographic groupings followed by the I&I/TIPP Poll, just one was below 50% overall: self-described “liberals.” All the other groups, including blacks (61%), Hispanics (61%), men (68%), women (61%), along with every income group, every age group, and every education group, all felt Biden’s policies caused the current inflation mess.
We spent a bit of time on this poll while I guest-hosted for Hugh Hewitt today, and for good reason. The Biden administration has spent the last fourteen months in denial over inflation, sometimes literally denying that it existed at all. When that “do you believe me or your lyin’ eyes” strategy didn’t work with voters, Biden and his team concocted a half-dozen or more other excuses, including the vapid demagoguery over corporate greed that has survived even longer than the “Putin’s price hike” messaging.
No one’s buying it, mainly because everyone understands what triggered higher inflation in the first place. In the same poll, a majority of Democrats blamed “excessive” government spending for worsening inflation, a result that has dire portents for Biden’s inflation solution:
Democrats, Republicans and independents were in general agreement, with 52% of Dems saying federal spending made inflation worse, compared to 86% of Republicans and 69% of independents.
Why does this matter? Biden wants Congress to pass some form of his Build Back Better bill as his solution to inflation. It would be yet another massive off-budget progressive shopping list, with much of the focus on climate-change spending rather than any direct benefit to consumers. Chuck Schumer’s supposedly getting Joe Manchin on board to pass a “Build Back Better Late than Never” reconciliation package, but one has to wonder whether Manchin wants to sign up for any big spending bill while looking at this environment.
The risks of this become even more apparent when looking at Biden’s approval numbers on the economy. His current RCP average on the economy has him underwater by almost 28 points at 33.6/61.4. It would be an even wider gap if it weren’t for the constant addition of an outlier from the Economist/YouGov poll, which consistently shows Biden with a single-digit approval gap on this policy. In fact, Economist/YouGov is the only pollster since March to have Biden at a single-digit gap in any iteration — and even the March result was the NPR/Marist post-SOTU poll that got cooked to serve a “Biden bounce” narrative that was quickly exposed as nonsense. Before that, one has to go all the way back to a Morning Consult poll in early December that put Biden at -9.
Biden’s credibility problem on the economy far precedes Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, in other words. In fact, the last poll to show Biden with a net positive approval on the economy came in September, just the last of a few such positive results after the Afghanistan debacle. That’s when Biden’s credibility crashed and burned for good, and when Americans largely discovered what some of us have been warning for years: that Joe Biden is twenty pounds of bull**** in a ten-pound bag. And on the economy, he’s even more incompetent and ignorant than foreign policy.
Bidenomics is a complete loser in the upcoming midterms. It’s so bad, in fact, that even a majority of Democrats now oppose it. Incumbent Democrats will have to run against Biden in the upcoming midterms in order to have any hope of saving their seats in even mildly competitive environments — and it probably still won’t help.