But the fact remains that Americans really are pessimistic at the present time and this will have implications for the November 2022 national elections. Consider:
- Foreign Policy is a plus for President Biden and the Democrats. Even though the Afghanistan withdrawal was handled poorly, Biden is now handling the Ukrainian situation very well. Ukraine wants to be free and independent from Russia and we should do all we can to help them achieve this without getting directly involved in the war. Furthermore, China’s current economic slowdown and failing Zero-Covid policy reflect poorly on its autocratic political system.
- Inflation. This is, of course, the Democrat’s biggest problem by far. Americans are reminded daily of the rapidly rising price of gasoline. Even if the annual rate of inflation continues to taper off slowly (it dropped from an annual rate of 8.5% in March to 8.3% in April), it is likely to still be high in November. In the meantime, the Fed will be raising interest rates aggressively to combat inflation and this will slow down the economy. This will likely make the current low unemployment rate of 3.6% go up, even though there is now a huge number of open jobs (11 million) in the economy. And even large current wage increases are not keeping up with inflation.
- The likely repeal of Roe vs Wade. This will be a net wash politically. Since state legislatures will now be in charge of setting abortion policy, both pro-lifers and pro-choicers will be working hard to boost voter turnout amongst their supporters. Of course, more voting is very good for democracy in general.
- The culture wars give a big advantage to the Republicans. Gender ideology (trans-gender encouragement) and critical race theory (white supremacy and systemic racism) are toxic to parents of young children. Unnecessary school closings and mask mandates at the behest of teacher unions have also created animosity towards the education establishment.
Conclusion. Joe Biden is doing well on foreign policy, but poorly on domestic issues, and his overall popularity is sinking. In other words, domestic policy failures outweigh foreign policy successes for presidential popularity. This bodes poorly for the Democrats in the November 2022 elections.