Just months after handily defeating an incumbent president in New Hampshire and entering the White House with solid polling numbers, President Joe Biden is underwater in the Granite State, a new poll shows.
The St. Anselm College Survey Center poll conducted for the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy found Biden had a favorable/unfavorable rating of 47 to 52 percent. That’s an almost exact reversal from February’s poll when Biden’s favorable was 53 to 46 percent.
Biden won New Hampshire 53 to 45.5 percent over former President Donald Trump last November.
More problematic for Biden is his numbers among unaffiliated and moderate voters, the swing votes that determine most elections. They give Biden a 34 to 61 favorable rating, underwater by -27 points. Among self-identified swing voters, Biden’s at 33-65 percent, or -32.
It’s an ominous sign given the surge in demand for workers and collapse in COVID cases over the past six months. Masks off and back on the job would seem to be conditions to send approval ratings up, not down.
For example, the same poll found Gov. Chris Sununu’s favorable at 64 -34 percent, and among swing voters at 75 to 24 percent.
“The bloom is off the rose and we haven’t even finished the first dance,” New England-based GOP strategist Pat Griffin told NHJournal. “People think Joe Biden’s a nice guy, but he was the compromise choice, not the liberal one. Now he’s trying to join a fraternity that will never have him for a member — the Progressive Democrats — and voters don’t like those policies.”
Granite Staters aren’t too happy with public institutions, either. Their trust in government and media has collapsed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the poll found.
Among registered New Hampshire voters, 61 percent said the pandemic has made them less trustful of the government, and 60 percent said it has made them less trustful of the media. In both questions, 34 percent said their level of trust was unchanged.
The numbers were brighter for private businesses. Only 22 percent said the pandemic has made them less trustful of business, with 69 percent saying their level of trust is unchanged.
“The huge collapse in trust of government and media, but not business, ought to be a five-alarm warning to government officials and journalists,” said Josiah Bartlett Center president Andrew Cline. “Trust in institutions was already low before the pandemic. It would be a mistake to maintain business as usual and see how low it can go. A serious effort to regain public trust is needed.”
Eighty-seven percent of Republicans and 65 percent of undeclared voters say the pandemic made them less trustful of government. Ninety-two percent of Republicans and 63 percent of undeclared voters said the pandemic made them less trustful of media.
Democrats’ attitudes, however, were largely unchanged.
They are also still supporting Biden, with 90 percent viewing the president favorably, and his highest numbers coming from Granite Staters who identify as “very liberal.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee thinks Biden’s bad polls could spell big trouble for Rep. Chris Pappas, who will face an uphill battle for re-election in a redrawn district — assuming he decides to seek re-election.
“If Joe Biden is underwater in New Hampshire, so is partisan puppet Chris Pappas. It’s no wonder Pappas won’t commit to seeking reelection,” said NRCC spokeswoman Samantha Bullock.
They pointed to the crisis along the southern border, the labor shortage in New Hampshire and across the country, and the Biden administration proposing the largest tax hike in nearly 80 years as the reasons his numbers are so low.
A solid majority of New Hampshire voters (59 percent) now say the country is on the wrong track, with only 31 percent saying it’s on the right track. That’s up from 55 percent who said the country was on the wrong track in the February poll.
“If you think Biden’s numbers are bad now, wait until things start getting worse,” said Griffin. “Like Trump or hate him, you have to admit that the economy Biden inherited was pretty resilient. But now Biden’s throwing on tax hikes and higher gas prices and paying workers to stay home. People are going to feel it.
“You can see it in the restaurants already. People want to go out and spend money, but they can’t get any service because there aren’t enough workers to staff the restaurants. And they’re sitting at the table thinking, ‘Thanks for the cold soup, Joe.'”