Frustration that President Biden is trailing former President Trump in polls despite a growing economy is building at the White House.
Biden’s approval ratings have been low for more than a year, but recent polls have found him trailing Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, in a head-to-head match-up and in key swing states.
Biden saw his approval rating hit a new low of 34 percent in a Monmouth University poll released Monday . Days prior, a Wall Street Journal poll showed Biden at 37 percent approval rating.
Trump is holding a 2 percent lead over Biden in The Hill/Decision Desk HQ national polling averages .
Other polls have raised alarm bells for Biden with younger voters, who have been critical of his support for Israel.
A New York Times/Siena poll on Tuesday showed just 33 percent of respondents approve of Biden’s Israel policy. The same poll found Trump leading Biden by 6 points among registered voters younger than 30.
That’s a shocking result given Biden’s more than 20-point victory over Trump in the 2020 election, according to exit surveys.
Some have suggested Biden 81, is having trouble convincing a key part of the Democratic base that it should have faith in his leadership after various disappointments, ranging from student loans to rising rents and mortgage prices. The Israel-Hamas war, a divisive issue in the Democratic Party and on college campuses, is hurting him further.
Sources told The Hill the president has gathered advisers, both internal White House aides and external personal confidants, for meetings to discuss Trump, the negative polling and how to effectively message the president’s accomplishments.
One Biden ally said meetings have taken place because of “deep frustration” over polls but that it did not reflect a panic over the president’s prospects.
“The meetings are intended to discuss messaging on his age and his accomplishments. There has been concern among his inner circle that the messaging has not been strong or consistent enough to break through with the public,” the Biden ally said.
The Washington Post reported this week that Biden had called a meeting at the White House residence just before Thanksgiving where he sternly described his approval ratings as too low. The Post reported he argued his economic messaging, which has been focused on pushing the successes of “Bidenomics,” was faltering given low unemployment and a growing economy.
White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in response, “The President and First Lady meet regularly with their senior team for updates and to review plans.”
It is in some ways easy to understand the frustrations of Biden allies to their predicament.
The stock market is now roaring, with indexes closing at record levels after Trump predicted a slump from a Biden presidency. Unemployment is just 3.7 percent nationally, near historic lows. Inflation has also fallen, though fatigue at the rising prices from the pandemic era appears to be hampering a rise for Biden in polls.
“Yes, it’s frustrating. I have heard many theories as to why the message is not connecting. None convince me or make me feel better,” said Ivan Zapien, a former Democratic National Committee official, adding though that he still thinks “Biden can win this election.”