Biden’s Economic Record Has Cost Him Big with Women and Swing Voters

It’s no secret that President Biden’s polling numbers are not where Democrats hoped they would be at this point in the election cycle. Recent large, national polls have found Trump beating Biden by six points in the past two weeks, while other polls show Biden neck-and-neck with Trump.  

Despite a slew of indictments and controversies lobbed at Trump by those in power, he is polling better today than he was in the 2020 election. Biden, meanwhile, continues to lose support from key coalitions of his base including minorities, independents, young people and perhaps most troubling for Democrats’ election prospects, women.

Biden won women as a group by 15 percentage points in 2020 but polls from various sources show him down by close to that amount with women now, and the rising cost of living is a massive contributor to his upside-down approval rating among women.

Comparing data from shortly after Biden took office to the present, Biden has lost eight points with women according to YouGov. The New York Times released a recent poll that shows Biden’s numbers have slipped even farther with women – 14 percentage points, according to the Times. This indicates Biden’s advantage over Trump with women may have evaporated all together.

What could be driving such a decline in support among women? While much of the country, including a plurality of Democrats, want Biden replaced on the Democratic ticket because they do not believe he has the ability to lead, economic issues are at the core of his sinking ratings with women. Out-of-control inflation, the rising cost of healthcare, and job uncertainty are hitting women hard, and Biden’s numbers among women are plummeting.

According to YouGov surveys, the number one issue to women, even more so than men, is inflation and the prices they pay for household goods. Women are still more likely to handle shopping than men are and are acutely aware of the rising cost of everyday items like groceries and household supplies.  

Solving the rising cost of living is the number one issue to women out of a slate of 15 issues, with 25% of women saying solving inflation is the most important issue to them compared to 21% of men. Women are also concerned about healthcare (11%) and jobs and the economy (11%). Abortion, an issue Biden continues to make central to his Administration, is the priority for only 7% of women.  

While women want inflation solved, most are not impressed with Biden’s response to the rising costs of living. Women disapprove of Biden’s response to inflation by a staggering 28 percentage points (61% to 33%) and they disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy by eight percentage points (50% to 42%) according to YouGov.  Biden doesn’t poll particularly well on healthcare either, with women disapproving of his Administration on healthcare by 5 percentage points (46% to 41%).  

Women also have a lower opinion of the economy than men do by 6 percentage points, with 51% of women compared to 45% of men saying the economy is in ‘poor’ condition. Just 3% of women compared to 6% of men say the economy is in ‘excellent’ condition, according to the poll. While both men and women say inflation and unemployment are huge issues, women are eight percentage points more likely to say inflation and unemployment are equally troubling, with men more likely to cite unemployment as their number one concern.

This comes on top of previous polling showing Biden has lost significant support among women, Hispanics, Blacks, Independents, and young people. According to the recent New York Times poll, Biden’s lead over Trump in comparison to 2020 exit polls has dropped by 14 points among women, 30 percentage points among Hispanics, 16 points among Blacks, 14 points among voters under 30, and 8 points among Independents.

The Biden Administration’s economic policies are eroding support among one of their largest constituencies, and losing at the margins with women could cost Democrats the election unless they course-correct. Women have a particularly bleak view of the economic outlook and are acutely aware of the rising cost of living over the past three years.  

Democrats’ focus on abortion did not galvanize women the way they hoped in the midterms, and Biden’s focus on it isn’t raising his approval ratings now. Economic issues and particularly economic perceptions will play a huge role in 2024, and women have bleak views on Biden’s record there.

Manzanita Miller is an associate analyst at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.

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