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August 20, 2021

Biden's Approval Continues to Fall - The Baris National Poll
[Dave in Fla]

In my opinion, the best pollster in the business right now is Rich Baris. You can find his work at BigDataPoll.com and also follow along on his work at peoplespundit.locals.com. Rich was the most accurate pollster in 2020, one of the few who correctly polled Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and many other states. He is so good, that the polling industry purposely excludes him from averages, because he skews the narrative.

He has been doing national polling this year, mostly focused on Biden approval numbers, and the underlying factors supporting this approval. During 2021, his polling has been finding general approval of Biden driven solely by the Covid response. Other issues, such as immigration and the economy, are topics where the voters have disapproved of Biden for months, but Covid approval has held the overall approval above 50%.

Baris just completed the latest poll. This is a national poll of 2,010 respondents, and he oversamples to ensure that all participants answer the questions. He throws away responses that give approve/disapprove responses, then don't answer the rest of the survey. Results are weighted to account for demographics of the region based on voter files. This is a very solid methodology and a large valid sample size.

Importantly, this poll completed just before the debacle in Afghanistan, changes due to that event are not included. 1,792 of the respondents voted in 2020. Of them, 50.4% voted for Biden and 45.8% for Trump. So this survey is slightly more pro-Biden in demographics than the real 2020 vote results.

There is a lot of data in the crosstabs, but I want to focus on a few of the questions.

Right Track/Wrong Track

Overall, 36% think we are on the right track and 55% on the wrong track. This is driven by a distribution that can be seen throughout the rest of the survey. The group whose opinion has dramatically shifted is the Independents. Democrats think we are on the right track by 68%/23%. Republicans have a 10%/84% opinion on this metric. Independents have shifted hard to wrong track at 25%/61%.

Biden's Approval

Overall, Biden's approval is finally underwater, 47%/50%. This change is driven by a strong shift in Independents who now approve 40%/55%. When you dig deeper into the issues, you see that Covid is the only strong issue Biden has, and that is slipping, barely over 50%. Mask, mandates, and lockdowns are going to drive this subsample down over the next few weeks and months. As inflation and the rent moratorium issue begin to hit pocketbooks, his weak numbers on the economy will erode. Finally, the foreign policy number is going to drop dramatically, since this poll occurred before Afghanistan.

(approve/disapprove percentage)
Economy and Jobs - 46/50
Covid - 52/44
Immigration and Border - 38/56
Crime - 39/52
US/China Relations - 36/51
Foreign Policy - 38/52


The number of people who will not get the vaccine has remained steady for months. These people are hard no and so far no level of encouragement or coercion have successfully changed their minds. 22% have no plans to get vaccinated, with 30% of both Republicans and Independents being a "no" on this issue. Broken out by race, the largest group who won't get vaccinated are Blacks at 24% followed by Whites at 22%.

Looking further into vaccine related issues, we find:

Don't trust the mRNA vaccines - 28%/64%
Oppose employers firing for not being vaccinated - 54%/40%
Oppose schools mandating the vaccine for students - 55%/38%
Oppose stores/restaurants mandating vaccines for customers - 50%/45%

What I find interesting in these numbers is that there is a very high distrust in the vaccines, despite the government and media efforts to assure us that they are safe and effective. This will drop as more information about vaccine failure enters the awareness of the public. Also, despite a large majority thinking the vaccines can be trusted, they still don't support mandating them. This is very different from public opinion on issues like the measles vaccine where 90%+ of the public supports mandatory vaccination for children.

Civil War

Finally, Baris polled to see if people think a Civil War is coming. The question asked was, "How likely is it the United States of America is headed for another civil war - or, widespread political violence that leads to significant division?"

60% of the respondents think that this is somewhat or very likely.

Regarding what the result of this division will be, those who think it is likely that the divisions can be solved without upheaval are the minority 40%/48%. But people are not onboard with a national divorce. Support/oppose a peaceful separation is 30%/39%.

Expect to see other approval polls to track toward Baris's results in the next two weeks. This has been a trend for 2021, where Baris is the first to pickup on and report shifts in Biden approval.

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posted by Open Blogger at 03:28 PM

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