每日英語跟讀 Ep.K282: The Disconnect Between Biden’s Popular Policies and His Unpopularity
Over the past few years, many Democrats argued that there was a simple secret to electoral success: enact popular legislation.
President Joe Biden tried to make that theory a reality. He enacted a big stimulus plan, a bipartisan infrastructure bill and has made progress toward pushing through an ambitious $2 trillion spending bill that has finally passed the House.
But so far, popular policies haven’t made for a popular president. His approval ratings have slipped into the mid-40s, even though virtually all of his legislation commands majority support in the same surveys. In poll after poll, voters seem to give Biden no credit for his agenda. They say he hasn’t accomplished much. They even say he hasn’t helped them personally, even though he sent direct stimulus payments to most households and even more to parents.
If anything, voters say he’s made things worse.
The disconnect between Biden’s popular policies and his personal unpopularity is a little hard to understand. After all, voters do care about the issues. They’ve proved it by gradually sorting into ideologically divided parties over the past two decades. And it’s clear that presidents can be punished for advancing an unpopular agenda. Just ask Barack Obama about the period after the Affordable Care Act was passed.
But if voters often punish a president for pushing unpopular policies, they rarely seem to reward a president for enacting legislation. Instead, voters seem to reward presidents for presiding over peace and prosperity — in a word, normalcy.
Today, Biden is not seen as presiding over the long-promised return to normalcy. Maybe that will change in the months ahead. But Biden’s policy agenda is not expected to do much to help his approval rating so long as Americans do not believe that agenda responds to the most immediate issues facing the country.
The predominance of the economy in American public opinion is one of those basic and seemingly obvious findings of political science that is still somewhat hard to fully internalize. That’s partly because it’s at odds with how most individual voters — and especially politically engaged voters — think about politics. Most people back their party through the worst economic times; even the fastest economic growth wouldn’t persuade them to back the president of the other party.
經濟在美國公眾輿論的主宰地位，是政治科學中基本且看似明顯的發現之一，但仍然有點難以讓人完全接納，部分是因為這跟多數個別選民對政治的看法不一致，尤其是積極參與政治的選民。大多數人在經濟最糟糕時期仍支持他們的政黨，即便是最快速的經濟成長，也無法說服他們支持另一個黨的總統。Source Article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5953373