NEWS AND OPINION:
In four days, former President Donald Trump arrives in Iowa for one of his bodacious rallies with all the trimmings. He’ll have a very appreciative audience waiting for him, judging by some local poll numbers.
“Out of the daily spotlight and openly flirting with another White House bid, former President Donald Trump will return to Iowa Saturday with better favorability ratings than he ever saw while president,” says the Des Moines Register, which conducted the poll in question.
“The latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows 53% of Iowans now have a favorable view of the former Republican president and 45% have an unfavorable view — his best showing ever on either metric in the Iowa Poll. Another 2% are not sure how they feel about Trump,” the Register said.
“The numbers come as Trump begins to reengage with the state that is expected to kick off the 2024 presidential nominating process for Republicans. And they show favorable feelings for him have not waned in his absence,” the paper added.
The Iowa Poll of 805 U.S. adults was conducted Sept. 12-15 and released Monday.
“At a time when Iowans’ favorable feelings for Trump have reached new heights, favorable feelings toward Trump’s 2020 and potentially 2024 election opponent, Joe Biden, have reached new lows. Thirty-seven percent of Iowans have favorable feelings toward the president, and 61% have unfavorable feelings, his worst marks in seven Iowa Polls dating to 2012,” the Register concluded.
FOR THE LEXICON
This is a handy phrase identified by Reuters which could come into popular use soon.
“Something unexpected is happening at U.S. military bases hosting Afghan evacuees: Many hundreds of them are simply leaving before receiving U.S. resettlement services, two sources familiar with the data told Reuters,” the news organization said.
“The number of ‘independent departures,’ which top 700 and could be higher, has not been previously reported. But the phenomenon is raising alarms among immigration advocates concerned about the risks to Afghans who give up on what is now an open-ended, complex and completely voluntary resettlement process,” Reuters noted.
THE DIPPING AND SLIPPING CONTINUES
“Dipped” seems to be the current operative term when it comes to gauging public approval ratings of President Biden in recent days. Those ratings have also tanked, slipped and fallen according to an assortment of news organizations.
Polls conducted by NBC News, ABC News/Washington Post, National Public Radio, PBS, Morning Consult, Ipsos, IBD/Tipp, YouGov, Rasmussen Reports, Quinnipiac University and St. Anselm College have found Mr. Biden with more unpopular than popular reviews at this point.
The Associated Press offered the latest poll gauging public sentiment toward the president.
“Biden’s approval slumps after a slew of crises,” the AP said, noting that 50% of U.S. adults still approve of the president — down from 54% in August and 59% in July.
Among Democrats, his approval fell from 92% to 85% since July, among independents, it went from 62% approval to 38%. Only 11% of Republicans give Mr. Biden the nod.
“Approval also dipped somewhat among both white Americans (49% to 42%) and Black Americans (86% to 64%),” the AP said.
In addition, 34% of the respondents now approve of Mr. Biden’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, while 34% say the country is headed in the “right direction.”
The AP-NORC poll of 1,099 adults was conducted Sept. 23-27.
ANDREW YANG’S THIRD PARTY
Andrew Yang says he’s done with the Democratic Party and eager to find an alternative. The former presidential and New York City mayoral candidate has revealed that he has formally broken from the party and ready for something new.
“I changed my voting registration from ‘Democrat’ to ‘independent’ today. It was a strangely emotional experience,” Mr. Yang wrote in a lengthy personal blog post Monday.
It delved into his personal political history and past support for such high-profile Democrats as former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. The essay revealed Mr. Yang has befriended local Democratic heavyweights as well as such Democratic politicians as Sen. Cory A. Booker, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
“Again, I have at this point dozens of friends and confidantes who are entrenched in the Democratic Party. I’ve been a Democrat my entire adult life. And yet, I’m confident that no longer being a Democrat is the right thing,” Mr. Yang said.
“Breaking up with the Democratic Party feels like the right thing to do because I believe I can have a greater impact this way. Am I right? Let’s find out. Together,” Mr. Yang later concluded.
His new book “Forward: Notes on the Future of our Democracy” arrives Tuesday.
Publisher Penguin Random House described it as “a lively and bold blueprint for moving beyond the ‘era of institutional failure’ by transforming our outmoded political and economic systems to be resilient to twenty-first-century problems.”
So will we see another presidential run from Mr. Yang, this time as an independent?
“Third party presidential runs don’t usually translate well into actual votes, so it’s unlikely we’ll see him in 2024 on the national stage, but the prospect can’t entirely be ruled out,” advises Nate Ashworth, founder and editor-in-chief of Election Central, a political news site.
POLL DU JOUR
• 56% of U.S. adults “strongly” or “somewhat” disapprove of the job the U.S. Congress is doing; 74% of Republicans, 61% of independents and 42% of Democrats agree.
• 17% overall say they neither approve nor disapprove of the job Congress is doing; 11% of Republicans, 18% of independents and 22% of Democrats agree.
• 15% overall “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of the job Congress is doing 7% of Republicans, 11% of independents and 28% of Democrats agree.
• 13% overall are not sure how they feel about the issue; 7% of Republicans, 10% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.
SOURCE: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 26-28.
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