Biden supporters ‘don’t see the results’ a year into his tenure – KXAN Austin


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NEW YORK (AP) — Just over a year ago, millions of energetic young people, women, people of color and independents came together to send Joe Biden to the White House. But 12 months into his presidency, many are describing a coalition in crisis.

Leading voices in Biden’s diverse political base have openly denounced the slow pace of progress on key campaign promises. Frustration has been particularly acute over the past week after Biden’s push for a Voting Rights Act effectively stalled, fueling concerns within his party that fundamental democratic principles are at risk and adding to a general sense that the president is in a historic moment Consequences stalled.

“People feel like they got less than they expected when they put Biden in office. There are many emotions, and none of them are good,” said Quentin Wathum-Ocama, president of the Young Democrats of America. “I don’t know if the right word is ‘apoplectic’ or ‘demoralized.’ we are down We don’t see the results.”

The strength of Biden’s support will determine whether Democrats retain flimsy majorities in Congress beyond this year or cede legislative power to a Republican party largely controlled by former President Donald Trump. Republicans in several state legislatures have already taken advantage of the Democrat split in Washington to enact sweeping changes to state election laws, abortion laws and public health policies in line with Trump’s wishes.

Unless Biden can unite his party and revitalize his political coalition, the GOP will almost certainly be more emboldened at the state and federal levels, and the red wave that shaped a handful of state elections last year could fundamentally shift the balance of power across America’s midterm elections in November.

Right now, virtually none of the groups that fueled Biden’s 2020 win are happy.

Young people are frustrated that he has not kept his vows to fight climate change and student debt. Women are concerned his plans to expand family leave, childcare and universal pre-K are stalling as abortion rights erode and schools struggle to stay open. Moderates in both parties, who once hailed Biden’s centrist approach, fear he has skewed too far to the left. And voters of color, like those in Biden’s political base, are furious that he hasn’t done more to protect their voting rights.

“We mobilized to elect President Biden because he made promises to us,” Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., told The Associated Press, citing Biden’s promises, including police brutality, student loan debt, climate change and voter suppression problems to tackle.

“We need transformative change – our lives depend on it,” Bush said. “And because we haven’t seen those results yet, we’re frustrated — frustrated that despite everything we’ve done to create a Democratic White House, a Democratic Senate, and a Democratic House of Representatives, our needs and our lives still matter.” not be treated as a top priority. That needs to change.”

Amid widespread frustration, the White House insists Biden is making significant progress, especially given the circumstances surrounding his inauguration.

“President Biden took office with tremendous challenges – a once-in-a-generation pandemic, an economic crisis and a hollowed federal government. In his first year alone, he’s made progress on his promises,” said Cedric Richmond, a senior adviser to the president. He pointed to more than 6 million new jobs, 200 million Americans vaccinated, the most diverse cabinet in US history, and the most federal judges to confirm the first year of a president since Richard Nixon.

Richmond also highlighted historic legislative achievements Biden signed into law — notably a $1.9 trillion Pandemic Assistance Act that mailed $1,400 checks to most Americans, and a subsequent $1 trillion infrastructure package that which will fund public works projects in every state of the nation for several years.

In an interview, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a leading voice on the left wing of the Democratic Party, described Biden’s pandemic relief package as one of the most important legislation ever passed to help working people.

“But a lot still needs to be done,” he said.

Like other Biden allies, Sanders blamed two Senate Democrats for the president’s woes: Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. They are blocking the President’s plan to protect voting rights by refusing to bypass the filibuster, having already derailed Biden’s Build Back Better package, which includes over $2 trillion in investments in childcare, paid family vacations , education and climate change calls for progressive priorities.

“It was a mistake to have backroom talks with Manchin and Sinema for the past four or five months,” Sanders said. “These talks didn’t work. But they have demoralized tens of millions of Americans.”

But blaming other Democrats will do little to improve Biden’s political standing.

According to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released last month, the president’s approval ratings have fallen across virtually all demographics as the pandemic rages on, inflation rises and most of his campaign promises are not fulfilled. A series of legal setbacks in recent days are likely to make matters worse. The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked Biden’s vaccine and testing requirements for large corporations.

About 7 in 10 Black Americans said they agreed with Biden in December, compared to about 9 in 10 in April. Among Hispanics, support dropped from about 7 in 10 to about half.

Only half of women approved of Biden in the past month, compared with about two-thirds in the spring.

A similar decline was seen among younger voters: About half of Americans under 45 approved of the president, up from about two-thirds earlier in the year. The decline was similar for those over 45. And among independents, a group that has firmly voted for Biden in 2020, just 40% of those not leaning towards one party endorsed Biden in December, down from 63% in April.

“Biden is failing us,” said John Paul Mejia, the 19-year-old spokesman for the Sunrise Movement, a national youth organization focused on climate change. “If Biden doesn’t use the time he has left with a Democratic majority in Congress to fight tooth and nail for the promises on which he was elected, he will go down in history as a would-be president and ultimately a coward who have not stood up for democracy and a habitable planet.”

Christian Nunes, president of the National Organization for Women, said she wants Biden to show more urgency in protecting women’s priorities.

“In these times we need someone who will be a fighter,” she said.

Nunes called on Biden to work harder to protect voting rights and access to abortion, which have been dramatically curtailed in several Republican-led states. A forthcoming Supreme Court decision, expected this summer, could set the landmark Roe v. Weaken or wipe out Wade, who legalized abortion.

“We are in a really bad time right now. We see so many laws being passed that really challenge people’s constitutional rights,” Nunes said. “We need someone to say we will not tolerate this.”

Charlie Sykes, an anti-Trump Republican who backed Biden in 2020, said the president also risks losing moderate voters in both parties if he can no longer center his party’s rhetoric when he speaks about public safety, crime and voting.

“He ran as a very centrist, center-left candidate, but I think a lot of moderate swing voters are feeling a little left out and wondering where Joe Biden of 2020 went,” Sykes said.

Biden, who has been in office for just a year, may have time to change things before the November midterm elections — especially if Trump reemerges as a more visible player in national politics. In recent years, nothing has united Democrats more than Trump himself.

Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union of two million members, said her members wanted more from Washington but would be out in full force this year to remind voters of the work Biden has already done around concerns about the pandemic and economic security.

“President Biden is not the obstacle,” Henry said, pointing to the “adamant Republican faction in the Senate” that has banded together against Biden’s Build Back Better package and voting rights protection plan. “We will have this President’s back.”

Not everyone is willing to commit to the Democratic president.

“We have to see Joe Biden as a fighter. That’s about where I’m at,” said Wathum-Ocama, president of the Young Democrats of America. “The unifier is sometimes appropriate. But we need someone to fight for our problems if we turn out for him in 1922.”

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