Sunday, March 06, 2022

President Biden did not get a job approval bump from the State of the Union address.


by Rod Williams, March 6, 2022 - President Biden gave his State of the Union address on Tuesday, March 1st and according to Rasmussen polling, the speech did not cause a bump in his job approval ratings. His approval ratings showed only normal daily fluctuations.  

I am a little surprised.  The first few minutes of the speech was a war-time speech where partisan differences were put aside and both Republicans and Democrats cheered Biden's expression of support for Ukraine and tough talk on sanction.  Also, I thought Biden's delivery was pretty good; better than I expected.  Sometimes he seems to be in a fog and one wonders if he knows what day it is.  His press conferences are embarrassing.  The people who ask questions are preselected for the president and they ask softball questions.  When he gives confusing or clumsy answers there is no tough follow-up.  In the State of the Union, Biden showed he can still read a teleprompter.

One reason I thought Biden may get a bump was that he did not sound like a Democrat on several issues. Regarding the crime wave we are experiencing, Biden said, “The answer is not to defund the police. It’s to fund the police.”

On the continuing crisis of illegal immigration, Biden said, "We need to secure the border and fix the immigration system.' That sounds a lot like Trump.

Another reason I thought Biden may get a boost in his approval ratings following the State of the Union address is that the audience for a State of Union address is a larger audience than just the citizens who pay attention every day.  I thought casual observers of civic affairs would be more easily swayed to think the President is doing an OK job than are more engaged citizens. I am pleased that I was wrong.

An OK speech cannot counter the pain people feel at the gas pump and the rising prices they experience every time they go to the grocery store. One does not have to daily consume a lot of news to know that things are not going well in this country. The debacle of a humiliating exit from Afghanistan is still in people's consciousness. And while few people may read the analysis that fact-checks the President's speech, they know things are not as rosy as the president paints them. While the American people may not be as informed as I wish they were, they are not stupid. 

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