President Biden’s job-approval rating continues to dive, reaching 33% in a New York Times/Siena College poll. The Times attributes Mr. Biden’s political difficulties to “a pervasive sense of pessimism” and notes that more than three-fourths of surveyed voters “see the United States moving in the wrong direction.” Only 26% of Democrats think the party should renominate the president in 2024.
But pessimism doesn’t always mean political failure. In July 2010, according to the RealClearPolitics average, 62% of Americans said the country was moving in the wrong direction, and that number seldom dipped lower over the next two years. The unemployment rate was 9.4% 12 years ago and is 3.6% now. Yet President Obama was unopposed for the 2012 nomination and won re-election.