Gen X has a strong dislike for Joe Biden


It’s no secret that Joe Biden’s approval rating is deeper underwater than Aquaman. But today NPR points out that there are some pretty big differences in those ratings depending on which generation you ask. It turns out that Gen X is the most conservative and gives Biden the worst marks.

“Gen X is the most Republican of the generations,” said Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University and author of the book Generations, which examines what drives generational differences.

NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist polling underscores that point: By generation, Biden has the highest disapproval rating from Generation X (62%), compared with the Silent/Greatest Generation (48%), baby boomers (48%) and Generation Z/millennials (50%). Biden also has the highest “strongly disapprove” rating from Gen X (52%), compared with the Silent/Greatest Generation (41%), boomers (39%) and Gen Z/millennials (35%).

So both those older and younger than Gen X are about evenly split on Biden but almost 2/3 of Gen X respondents disapprove of him. Apparently, politics is a lot like a person’s taste in music. It has something to do with what was circulating when you were growing up. For Gen X that was President Carter followed by President Reagan.

Even for Gen Xers who say they generally approve of Biden, they share a nostalgia for the politics of their youth.

“Ronald Reagan made me feel good about being a U.S. citizen, being American,” said Ken Piccolo, 56, a substitute teacher from San Jose, California.

“He made you feel like it was worthwhile and we’re a good country and we’re doing some good stuff, because just the way he interacted with the state, the world, the country — he just made you feel good about being American.”

Making people feel good about being American is not something Joe Biden has mastered so far and it’s not just Gen X that has noticed. Last week the Guardian traveled to Biden’s birthplace, Scranton, PA, and found plenty of people with complaints.

Local history buff Nick Petula has crossed paths with Kennedys, Clintons and pretty much any president who has come through his home town of Scranton, Pennsylvania, for the past 60 years. But there’s one politician whose hand he’s never managed to shake, even though he is more closely tied to the city than any other: Joe Biden, the current president who spent the first 10 years of his life in the north-eastern Pennsylvania city…

“I’ve lost a lot of the passion that I used to have,” said Petula, an independent who voted for Biden three years ago. “I’m kind of pleased the way the economy seems to be going. I think that inflation is certainly improving.” He worried, however, about Hunter Biden’s legal troubles. “All the things about his son, of course, it’s discouraging to hear that.”…

Restaurant worker Mike Boratyn, 30, also voted for Biden three years ago, but has not made up his mind about next year, irked by the president’s failure to relieve student debt and codify Roe v Wade…

“I think Biden tries to be inspiring, but I think he was the lesser of two evils,” Boratyn said. “He doesn’t seem like he was getting as much done as he promised.”

Looming behind all of this is ongoing concern about Biden’s age and what condition he will be in four years from now. Democrats are worried about this as well but most of them have taken a vow of silence, at least until after the election. A few days before Christmas, National Review spoke to some House Democrats who talked anonymously about their concerns after watching Biden at a White House Christmas party.

“My concern is heightened,” one House Democrat tells National Review after seeing him interact with other lawmakers at a White House holiday party, adding the president’s habit of mumbling in public settings and reliance on a teleprompter have done little to dispel concerns from voters that he is fit to serve another term: “Half the time I don’t know what he’s saying.”

…even his biggest cheerleaders on and off Capitol Hill begrudgingly acknowledge that the president often appears tired at public events, and complain that his reliance on the teleprompter in public settings makes him look older. Some admit that it’s been surprisingly difficult to convince many voters that Biden will be the party’s nominee come November 2024.

Generally speaking, it’s a safe bet that polls 11 months before the election don’t mean much. But I think things are different this year in that voters has a specific, overriding concern with Biden that may not go away. He’s not going to be able to run another “basement campaign” the way he did in 2020 because of the pandemic. This time around voters are watching to see how capable and energetic he seems. It might only take one more fall on camera to convince many of them that they’ve seen enough.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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