- The Washington Times
Wednesday, March 23, 2022

NEWS AND OPINION:

The year was 1992. James Carville — then adviser to Bill Clinton and his bid for the White House — hung a sign up in the candidate’s campaign headquarters. It advised Mr. Clinton to talk of “change” and not to forget health care. And then came one more talking point from Mr. Carville.

“It’s the economy, stupid.”


The four words still apply three decades later under less than ideal circumstances.

Let us look to Grinnell College, which released a poll Wednesday revealing that only a quarter of Americans — 27% — believe the economy will be better in a year. That is a drop of 20 percentage points in a similar poll the college conducted a year ago.

The current survey found that 58% of respondents believe the economy will get worse in the coming 12 months, while 57% disapprove of the way President Biden has handled economic issues.

“The collapse in economic confidence means that President Biden and congressional Democrats are facing strong headwinds as they head into the November elections,” said poll director Peter Hanson in a written statement.

“Midterm elections are frequently a referendum on the performance of the administration, and these numbers are a sign that the judgment from voters is likely to be harsh. Absent a major change, Republicans are well-positioned to take control of Congress.”

Meanwhile, 52% of the respondents disapprove, 34% approve and 14% are not sure about the matter.

“It’s interesting to me that the ‘not sure’ factor is as high as it is,” said J. Ann Selzer of Selzer & Company, which conducted the survey.

“It seems unlikely that Joe Biden isn’t well known enough to make a judgment. I believe this is a reflection of the high level of uncertainty everywhere — the war in Ukraine, inflation, COVID-19 and more,” she said, also in a written statement.

The Grinnell College National Poll of 1,001 U.S. adults was conducted March 15-20.

TRUMP GOES DOWN TO GEORGIA

Former President Trump heads for Commerce, Georgia, on Saturday for another signature rally with all the trimmings — and some notable guests.

Among the many who will take the stage when the time comes: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Andrew Clyde and Jody Nice — all Georgia Republicans, of course — along with David Perdue, former U.S. senator from Georgia and now a candidate for governor; state Sen. Burt Jones, a candidate for lieutenant governor; and football great Herschel Walker, a Heisman Trophy winner and now a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Walker’s current campaign motto is “run, fight, win,” by the way.

In addition, Tom Homan, former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, plus conservative columnist and radio host Todd Starnes will also be on hand during the evening.

“I’ll be delivering remarks along with a number of other great American patriots,” he said in an enthusiastic comment on Gettr.com.

Some 20,000 people are expected at the rally, and vendors are already in the host town — doing a brisk business selling Trump memorabilia, according to Banks News Today, a local news organization.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Semafor.”

This is the name of a new startup news organization founded by former New York Times media columnist Ben Smith — who left his position at the Gray Lady — and Jeff Smith, the former CEO of Bloomberg. Yes, it is a take-off on the word “semaphore” — visual signaling with flags or lights.

The emphasis will be on “global news,” according to Axios.

The founding pair hope to raise $20-30 million, have already begun to hire people — and may debut their new project at an event timed to coincide with the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner on April 30.

FOXIFIED, DIGITAL VERSION

Fox News is dominating the online news world.

Fox News Digital finished February as the top-performing news brand, according to Comscore, an industry source. During the month, the Fox News website drew 1.4 billion views — among visitors who spent 2.9 billion minutes pursuing the news and information.

Things were also good in the social media realm during February. Fox News drove 21 million interactions on Facebook during the month, along with 3 million on Twitter, and 21 million on Instagram. Fox News videos also drew 392 million views on YouTube.

Meanwhile, Fox Nation — the network’s video streaming platform — soon will debut a new series of note titled “Duck Family Treasure,” according to Jason Klarman, president of the platform, which has already featured episodes of the original “Duck Dynasty.”

The Fox Nation audience was very receptive.

“Since adding the coveted series to our platform in 2020, the response from our subscribers proved they were in the market for more,” Mr. Klarman said.

The new series will showcase familiar faces.

“Duck Family Treasure”’ will spotlight the brother duo of Jase and Jep Robertson as they pursue a hunt for buried treasure alongside their Uncle Si plus history expert and treasure hunter Murry Crowe.

“Each episode will feature the Robertson family as they search for precious treasures, rare artifacts, and hidden gems,” Fox Nation says in advance production notes.

POLL DU JOUR

53% of U.S. adults approve of the job President Biden is doing in response to the coronavirus; 19% of Republicans, 51% of independents and 87% of Democrats agree.

43% overall approve of how he handles foreign affairs; 9% of Republicans, 39% of independents and 80% of Democrats agree.

42% overall approve of how Mr. Biden handles his overall job as U.S. president; 5% of Republicans, 38% of independents and 84% of Democrats agree.

42% approve of the way he is dealing with the Russia situation; 8% of Republicans, 39% of independents and 76% of Democrats agree.

36% overall approve of the way he is handling the economy; 5% of Republicans, 29% of independents and 74% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,017 U.S. adults conducted March 1-18.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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