Face the Nation

As the State of the Union nears, a telling new poll reveals both parties are on very thin ice with the American public. But an argument could be made that overall it might be slightly worse for President Biden. 

FGS Global’s Government Relations experts share their outlook:

  • President Biden is getting next to zero credit for record unemployment, resilient job creation and other major legislative accomplishments like infrastructure, drug prices and clean energy.  Although this is hardly surprising given the benefits of most legislation aren’t felt for years after passage, this is small comfort to Biden now. And in the meantime, it appears he is getting much of the blame for residual inflation and the the stock market drop. 
  • That said, McCarthy and Republicans can’t take too much heart from the results.  Americans have even less confidence in their leadership than Biden’s. Perhaps not surprisingly, a large majority fears the consequences of a default and does not support a strategy of taking the debt limit hostage. 
  • What does this mean for the debt limit? Republicans are likely to take most of the blame in the weeks immediately leading up to and following any default, especially if they cannot control their more extreme colleagues. But if we go over the cliff, the negative economic consequences the public fears seem likely to largely go to Biden. And the president is already painfully weak on the economy as we witness the large rise in respondents saying their personal circumstances are worsening. This is a critical number for any administration.

All this could make some Republicans more willing to accept the economic and political consequences of default and Biden more interested in finding a way to a deal.