Independent voters in the top four battleground states may well decide the outcome of 2024 elections, from the presidency to control of Congress. Right now, in the states of Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia, and North Carolina, a whopping 77% of voters believe America is on the wrong track, vs. only 17% who are optimistic, per a new survey commissioned by the League of American Workers.
The reason for the pervasive pessimism?
Mainly, the economy. North Star Opinion Research surveyed 800 respondents and found that Biden’s approval on the economy in battleground states is a mere 39%, with 57% disapproving. Among independents, the numbers were even more dismal, with a scant 9% reporting “strong approval” of Biden on the economy and a whopping 48% registering “strong disapproval.”
A worse than five-to-one ratio of “strong” sentiment against Biden on the economy conveys the very real economic pain being endured across the country right now. North Star partner pollster Jon McHenry observed: “These results are pretty damning for Democratic leadership.”
So, despite the propaganda of media apologists and cherry-picking of a small set of data points that appear temporarily uplifting, voters clearly understand their tough economic slog and place blame squarely upon Biden and his allies.
In fact, in separate polling from Gallup going back seven decades, Republicans have never before enjoyed a larger edge on the primary issue of the day, the economy. Combining that survey with this new LAW poll in battleground states, the harsh reality of economic anxiety becomes clearer, especially for citizens of modest means.
Our new poll revealed, for example, just how worried workers are about the erosion of their earning power and their subsequent inability to pay soaring housing costs for rents or mortgages.
In these four states, fully 39% of voters said that “Income Erosion” was a top concern regarding the effects of systemic, punishing inflation. Americans work harder to afford less, as evidenced by the crushing 24 straight months of declining real wages under Biden, meaning pay adjusted for the costs of the goods and services of life.
Declining real incomes make the staples of life difficult to finance, and housing affordability has never been worse, per Goldman Sachs analysis. For the first time in history, the average apartment rent surpassed $2,000 a month, up from $1,600 a month when Biden took office with Nancy Pelosi as speaker and Chuck Schumer as Senate majority leader.
Per our new survey, battleground state voters overwhelmingly blame poor policies for this financial squeeze. Specifically, fully 71% say government policy has contributed to this rise in rents, with 50% blaming government “a great deal.”
This canvas validates prior surveys showing a dark national mood on the economy, but our survey concentrates on the places that will really matter decisively into 2024. Importantly, our poll uncovered an exact tie regarding the 2020 votes of the respondents, with 40% reporting they voted for Trump and 40% for Biden.
In total, the Trump-Biden contest was decided by only 117,000 votes combined, as reported among these four states having a combined population of almost 35 million Americans. In such a divided electorate, turning out the base plus winning persuadable independents will provide the margin of victory.
Given current dire economic trends, the table is set for a true “change” election. Moreover, our poll shows that swing state voters, especially non-partisan ones, blame Joe Biden for these economic woes. Now, activists and candidates must focus on workable economic solutions and persuasive economic messaging.
This article was originally published by RealClearPolitics and made available via RealClearWire.