Back in July, CNN polling expert Harry Enten noticed something remarkable: President Biden’s job approval rating hadn’t budged during his first six months in office. This was good news for the White House. Unlike his predecessor, who never cracked 50 percent approval in a major poll conducted during his presidency, Biden was somewhat popular. His numbers had neither gone higher than 55 percent nor sunk below 51 percent. “It’s been the most stable for any president since the end of World War II,” Enten wrote.
It didn’t last. Enten’s column appeared just as Biden’s approval rating began a downhill slide. According to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average, on July 26, Biden’s net approval was 10 points. Less than two months later, on September 13, his net approval was underwater at -3 points. In other words: By the time Americans returned from summer vacation, they had realized that Joe Biden’s version of “normalcy” isn’t what they’d had in mind. Maybe the sea breeze awakened their senses.