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6 Oct, 2023 22:52

Biden blames the press for bad poll numbers

The US president has suggested that negative media coverage is affecting voters’ perception of his performance
Biden blames the press for bad poll numbers

US President Joe Biden has argued that Americans aren’t recognizing his strong performance on the economy heading into the 2024 election because of media negativity.

Biden touted the latest US employment report in a White House press briefing on Friday, then suggested that public perceptions of the economy have been dimmed by the negative tone of media coverage.

“You all are not the happiest people in the world, which you report,” he said. “And I mean it sincerely: You get more legs when you report [that] something is negative. I don’t mean you’re picking on me. It’s just the nature of things.”

The president made his comments on the same day that a Real Clear Politics poll showed that his approval rating had dropped to 40.5%, the lowest level since August 2022. An Economist/YouGov poll released on Wednesday showed that only 16% of Americans believe the US economy is “getting better,” while 56% see it as “getting worse.”

Perhaps even more concerning for Biden, voters perceive that his top Republican rival in the 2024 race, former President Donald Trump, is superior on handling the economy, inflation and border security, among other key issues. Trump has a 23- to 24-point lead over Biden on the economy and inflation, according to a Marquette University poll released this week, and he leads by 19 percentage points in voter confidence in his ability to create jobs. Biden leads by nine to 15 points on abortion policy and climate change.

Biden’s Democratic Party is also taking a beating in public perceptions on the economy. A Gallup poll released this week found that Republicans had a 14-point lead over the Democrats in terms of public confidence in their ability to keep the nation prosperous. That margin marked the largest lead for the Republican Party since 1991, Gallup said.

Biden told reporters that, while his positive economic message isn’t getting through to some voters, the many Americans landing new jobs “feel better about the economy.” He added that the media’s negative tone is to be expected: “You turn on the television, and there is not a whole lot about ‘boy saves dog because he swims in the lake.’ It’s about, ‘somebody pushed the dog in the lake.’ I mean, I get it.”

Critics have long accused major media outlets of favoring Biden and other Democrats after years of vilifying Trump. “Corporate media’s behavior as we head into 2024 – their willingness to endlessly lie, propagandize and be more overt in their liberal political activism – will shock even the most jaded haters,” independent journalist Glenn Greenwald said earlier this week.