The day of comeuppance is just a fortnight away. The writing is on the wall. Democrats are likely to take a beating from voters.
That's the price for veering off too far Left over the past 21 months.
President Biden wants Americans to believe in an alternate universe. The border is secure; the Inflation Reduction Act will actually reduce inflation; the economy is strong; the administration must get credit for reducing the deficit by $1.4 trillion last year.
Well-timed student loan waiver can't save the Democratic candidates. Draining strategic petroleum (political) reserve (SPR) can't stop the election prospects from melting like ICE.
Why do we emphasize ICE? The mnemonic succinctly captures the underlying dynamic – Immigration, Crime, and the Economy - three things that would be responsible for Democrats' disastrous performance on November 8.
On Friday, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released its latest data. It showed that the agency had 227,000 encounters in September. In the latest fiscal year that ended on September 30, the total encounters were 2,766,582. It was four times higher compared to the 646,822 encounters during the last year under Trump's watch. The agency estimated that about one million "got-aways" might have slipped into America during Biden's tenure.
Human smugglers and cartels are rampant, and violent crime across America is increasing at an alarming pace. Deaths due to Fentanyl, an illicit drug, are rising at frightening levels.
Despite claims by the Biden administration that the border is secure, most Americans (54%) believe that the border is not secure. Even among Democrats, only 62% believe that it is secure.
Half of America (50%) gives President Biden a "D" or "F." Only 27% give him good grades. While Republicans (83%) and independents (58%) flunk President Biden, most Democrats (55%) are happy with his efforts.
As a result of Biden's failure to rise to the occasion, Republicans enjoy an advantage with voters on this crucial issue. Overall, 43% of Americans think the Republican party would do a better job, while 34% favor the Democratic party.
A tough economy, increase in homelessness, increase in migration, and Left-wing district attorneys implementing policies such as bail reform are among the leading factors contributing to the nationwide spike in crime.
Many cities' district attorneys sympathetic to "criminal justice reform" are releasing criminals who should be in jail, according to former New York City police commissioner Bill Bratton. Take Chicago, for example. The windy city is an excellent example of crime spiking by 40% from 2021 to 2022. The increase includes a 56% increase in sexual assault reports, a 52% increase in thefts, and a 15% increase in robberies. Motor vehicle thefts have also spiked by 132%. On many weekends this year, over 50 people have been shot.
Increased crime is driving businesses out of Chicago. Tyson Foods recently announced its plan to leave Chicago for Arkansas. In June, Caterpillar announced its plan to move its headquarters from Chicago to Irving, Texas. Citadel, the $51 billion hedge fund, announced its plans to move its base from Chicago to Miami in June.
A TIPP Poll conducted early this year has shown that one in six (16%) Americans has been a victim of a crime or has a family member who was a crime victim over the past 12 months.
Interestingly, the incidence of crime was the highest in urban areas (22%) compared to suburban (14%) and rural areas (14%). More Blacks (23%) and Hispanics (25%) reported experiencing crime compared to Whites (13%).
A TIPP Poll conducted early this month asked Americans, “who do you blame the most for the rise in crime: the Democratic party or the Republican party?”
The survey found that more Americans blame the Democratic party (43%) than Republicans (27%) for the increase in crime.
Democrats (43%) are likely to blame the Republican party, and Republicans (70%) blame the Democratic party. Most independents (53%) are unsure who to blame.
Americans are divided on which party would better fight increased crime. While 39% favor the Republican party, a similar share of 37% favor the Democratic party. A quarter of respondents are unsure.
But, the issue of crime is likely to favor Republicans. For example, recent polls show that in the gubernatorial race in the State of New York, a deep blue state, Lee Zeldin, a Republican, is favored over the incumbent Kathy Hochul, a Democrat. Lee Zeldin plans to declare a crime emergency for the state and suspend cashless bail laws upon taking office.
Bidenflation, measured by the TIPP CPI using the government data, stood at 12.8% in September. Prices have increased by 12.8% under President Biden's watch. On average, American families now spend $445 a month.
Earnings have not kept pace with inflation for most Americans. Only one in five (22%) report that they have.
According to government data, U.S. real average weekly earnings, measured year-over-year, have been in the negative territory for eighteen months.
Coping With Rising Food Costs
Faced with skyrocketing inflation and stagnant earnings, many Americans have to cut on necessities such as food. It is unfathomable that in the first world, in Biden's America, one in four (26%) are skipping meals. And a similar share (23%) relies on food banks to supplement groceries.
Mortgage And Rent
Housing is the next concern. Most Americans (58%) are concerned about affording their mortgage payments or rent.
Overall, energy prices have increased 39% since February 2021, the month after President Biden took office. Under President Biden's watch, electricity is up by 22%, and utility/piped gas services are up by 51%. We computed the increases using the September CPI data but rebased to Feb 2021.
Bloomberg recently reported that more than 20 million households are behind on utility bills. The suppliers will most likely take action against delinquent customers and turn off their power. Such action would be detrimental in the coming winter.
In the latest IBD/TIPP Poll, two-thirds are concerned about their ability to pay utility bills.
Roughly one-half (72%) are concerned about having enough savings for retirement. The sentiment is across-the-board. Paying for higher costs of food and energy leaves Americans with less money to save for retirement.
Further, the 401K retirement plans are taking a beating in a bear market. On January 20, 2021, the day Biden took office, S&P 500 opened at 3,816.22. On Friday's close, it was 3,752.75, representing a decline of 1.7% over the past 21 months.
Biden's Handling Of Economy
President Biden's fiscal policy and the Federal Reserve's monetary policy have worsened inflation, for which Americans are suffering. Only 29% give President Biden good grades for his handling of the economy. Half (50%) flunk him. While 60% of Democrats think he is doing a good job, 83% of Republicans and 61% of independents think he is doing a poor job.
In summary, President Biden failed badly on the key ICE issues - immigration, crime, and the economy. With Americans skipping meals to make ends meet and struggling to put aside enough towards retirement funds, the situation is grim for many. The influx of illegal migrants and rising crime is stretching resources to the breaking point. The Biden administration will attribute at least some of the blame to the Ukraine war and the disruptions caused by the pandemic. But, it is evident that the President’s policies have missed the mark and failed to impress Americans.
The November election will be a referendum on President Biden's policies.