Biden is short on good news. What will turn it around?

(Stephanie Scarbrough/Associated Press)

Biden is short on good news. What will turn it around?

Opinion piece, Elections 2024

Jackie Calmes

January 30, 2024

If President Biden’s reelection depended on the state of the economy, he would be a good choice, or at least a better one. Instead, its voters


of the economy that matters. That’s a big reason why the president is struggling as his campaign against presumptive rival Donald Trump gets underway.

Rarely, if ever, in the modern history of elections has there been such a disconnect between how the economy is doing and how many Americans think the economy is doing.


This is partly due to our political polarization. The media coverage of the economy, and the Republicans unquestionably wrongly blaming it, is not helping. We journalists must do better:

Stop renting

For example, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina is getting away scot-free by saying Biden has “destroyed our economy,” as happened on a recent Sunday talk show.

But the


The responsibility lies with Biden. He must convince the convinced among the skeptical voters. He’s trying, but he needs help from the Democratic bench, and fast.

Separate news late last week about two government reports, a record stock market and a national poll underscored how separated economic reality and perception have become.

On Thursday it was reported that the economy had grown 3.1% faster in 2023 than the average growth of gross domestic product in the three years before the pandemic under Trump. It was reported on Friday that inflation continued to decline in December, reaching levels last reached before the pandemic. The inflation report boosted investor confidence that the Federal Reserve would indeed cut rates; the S&P 500 rose for another record trading day.

Economic growth. Back to normal inflation. Lower interest rates. A bull market. It all confirms a trend that has been visible for months, along with low unemployment, more job creation than under Trump and real wage increases that are outpacing inflation. In the meantime, there is talk of an impending recession



The superlatives of giddy economists read like the promotional texts on movie ads: Just a perfect report Mark Zandi, Moodys Analytics. “Stunning and spectacular” Diane Swonk, KPMG. Hard to imagine how things could look better UBS Brian Rose. “This year was like Rock Em Sock Em Robots Dan North, Allianz Trade Americas.

Responding to Biden’s celebratory statement. Wages, wealth, and employment are higher now than they were before the pandemic (read: when Trump was president), even Trump’s former economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, admitted on his Fox Business show that I would brag about it, too.

However, from most Americans you only get Bronx cheers.

Amid the good economic reports came the poll results from the Pew Research Center and the headline said it all: Americans are more optimistic about the economy; Biden’s job rating remains low. And cheerful? That’s relative. Yes, Pew has found a 9-point increase in the percentage of adults who rate the economy as excellent or good since April of last year, to a whopping 28%. The increase was driven by Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents

. Calm,

less than half of the Democrats, 44% had a positive view of the economy. And only 13% of Republicans said it was excellent or good.

Many Americans’ views on the economy have long been colored by whether the occupant of the White House is someone from their favored party. But that bias is more apparent than ever in these more polarized times.

It has become so pronounced among Republicans, two Stanford University economists found in November, that traditional models for measuring consumer confidence based on fundamental economic data (inflation, stocks, unemployment, consumption) have broken down since 2020. Consumer confidence should be about 13 points higher. the feel-good scale, economics professor Neale Mahoney and doctoral student Ryan Cummings concluded.


the often lying Trump

Many call the economy so fragile and wish for a crash

in his party

will never be convinced that the economy is actually in good shape, regardless of their own financial comfort. (It would be better with [Trump] in office, a Republican caucus-goer in Iowa told the New York Times, adding: I’ve been pretty lucky, though.)

But demoralized Democrats and swing voters

that who

decide on elections in conflict zones


are thrown. Granted, you can’t convince voters that the economy is good if they don’t feel it, but to some extent most Americans are.


polls and data show


The first signs of rosier and more realistic consumer confidence

are reflected in

a double-digit increase this month, followed by the University of Michigan’s widely followed index. And the


of Bidenomics’ long-term public investments, such as the bridge replacement project the president visited Thursday at the Wisconsin-Minnesota border, have yet to materialize.

The president must hope that the gains continue, as many economists predict, and that voters give him support.

President Obama, who is re-elected in 2012,


among other things, that he was determined to win, because I’d be damned if anyone else was going to take credit for the growth his administration initiated after the Great Recession. Obama’s vice president certainly remembers such talk. Perhaps that helps explain why Biden is similarly driven to run for office again, even as many Democrats wish he would retire: He’d be damned if he let Trump, or anyone else, reap the benefits of all the coming ribbon cuttings.

But first Biden and his fellow Democrats must convince more voters that his policies are actually working than the U.S. economy

is real

as good as the data shows.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Hot Topics

Related Articles