The Biden administration has an interesting excuse for pursuing their go-it-alone, hyperpartisan agenda: They might not have the Republican Party‘s support, but they do have the support of Republican voters.
“If you look up ‘bipartisan’ in the dictionary, I think it would say support from Republicans and Democrats,” Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to President Biden, told The Washington Post on Sunday, defending the administration’s proposed $2 trillion infrastructure bill. “It doesn’t say the Republican Party.”
Mr. Biden himself has echoed this sentiment, saying his $1.9 trillion coronavirus legislation that passed last month — without a single Republican vote — didn’t matter, because it had the majority support of the Republican electorate.
“I would like Republican — elected Republican support, but what I know I have now is that I have electoral support from Republican voters. Republican voters agree with what I’m doing,” the president said during his press conference in March.
In February, he said “the vast majority of the American people” supported his coronavirus relief, “including a majority of Republicans.”
Mr. Biden and his Chief of Staff Ron Klain based the statement on a CBS poll conducted in February, showing 70% of Republicans approved of Congress passing additional coronavirus relief to provide funds to people impacted and businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The poll didn’t specifically mention Mr. Biden’s name, omitted its $1.9 trillion price tag, and didn’t detail what was included in the legislation. A SurveyMonkey/New York Times poll conducted that same month showed 56% of Republicans disapproved of the plan.
Yet, Democrats and the pundits in the mainstream news media kept repeating the “majority” talking point, warning congressional Republicans that their defiance of Mr. Biden’s agenda would backfire on them because their own constituents approved of Mr. Biden’s plans. The Biden administration is continuing the GOP constituents’ support when it comes to infrastructure.
The problem is: Recent polling proves the narrative untrue.
According to a Morning Consult/Politico survey conducted last week, 54% of self-identified conservatives either strongly or somewhat oppose Mr. Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus, and 52% of Trump voters are against his infrastructure plan. Among conservatives, 50% oppose his infrastructure spend, 34% support, and 16% have no opinion or don’t know enough about the bill.
Only 20% of conservatives believe the country is going in the right direction, and 77% strongly or somewhat disapprove of Biden’s presidency. Among Trump voters, only 13% of voters feel the country is on the right track, and 84% disapprove of Mr. Biden.
Mr. Biden’s job approval is just as dismal among Republicans in a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, where only 20% held a favorable opinion of the president. These results are echoed in an Economist/YouGov survey, where 81% of GOP voters somewhat or strongly disapproved of Mr. Biden, and only 13% said the country was headed in the right direction.
In March, Pew Research found Mr. Biden drew support from 86% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, which was similar to Mr. Trump’s approval among Republicans and Republican leaners four years ago (84%). But just 16% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents approve of Mr. Biden’s job performance today.
This partisan divide is not particularly surprising — what is surprising is the Biden administration’s insistence that Mr. Biden’s radical agenda has the support of the majority of Republican voters. Just because they keep repeating the line doesn’t make it true — and polling conducted this month shows it’s demonstratively false.
Congressional Republicans must not and should not cave to the Biden administration — the majority of GOP voters, especially those who voted for Mr. Trump in 2020, don’t support Mr. Biden’s radical agenda.
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