Biden’s Future Hinges on an Economic Recovery

James Carville minted the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid,” in 1992 to win the presidency, and it appears that not much has changed since then. Every month, Cygnal runs a nationwide tracking poll of around 6,000 respondents that asks questions about the national environment, top issues, and more. You can check out the service here:

One question that is the most interesting when trying to get a gauge of the nation is taking the temperature of economic confidence with the wording: “Do you believe the economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?” This month, the amount of people stating that the economy is getting worse has jumped higher and on the heels of some stunning shifts last Tuesday in the gubernatorial race, it’s worth wondering how much this is hurting Biden.  

The chart below looks only at self-identified Independents, the largest swing group, and plots out their responses by month on whether they believe the economy is getting worse in the green line. Under that is Biden’s net image, which is the difference between his favorable number and his unfavorable number. 

For the first time in October, a majority of Independents said that they believe the economy is getting worse, a 10% jump from the previous month. At the same time, Biden’s image hits a new low, dropping underwater by double digits. We also have some evidence of correlation between the two. In July, Biden’s numbers recovered and so did the economic outlook of the nation. If you want to know how Biden and Democrats will do in the future, keep an eye on how much people think that the economy is going to do in the future. This group’s swings from one month to the next based on that opinion show how important they will be in 2022.