WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The tide keeps turning…
👀Joe Biden has a positive approval rating among registered voters for the first time in years, per the latest NPR/PBS/Marist Poll.
49% approve / 45% disapprove
2/13-15, 1210 RVs, mixed mode, ±3.5https://t.co/qzJgQw35fg
— Jacob Rubashkin (@JacobRubashkin) February 22, 2023
In the aftermath of the 2022 election, there was a question that kept coming up among political observers — particularly in Colorado — that went something like this: Are Democrats really good at campaigning and governing, or is it just that Republicans are SO BAD at both?
Nearly four months later, the answer seems pretty clear.
While Republicans remain hamstrung by MAGA extremists, Democrats are focusing on governing and proving to future voters that they are more than capable of being the adults in the room.
As The Colorado Sun reports today via its “Unaffiliated” newsletter, new polling numbers from a noted Republican pollster show that Coloradans are pretty happy with their Democratic leaders:
The poll, commissioned by the conservative education group Ready Colorado, revealed that 61% of participants view Governor Jared Polis favorably, compared with 35% who said they view him unfavorably, 3% who had no opinion and 1% who said they had never heard of him. It’s notable that so few participants didn’t know or have an opinion of the governor.
Additionally, 53% said they think “things in Colorado” — that’s how the question was worded — are headed in the right direction, while 41% said they think the state is on the wrong track and 6% said they were unsure.
That’s a solid majority of Coloradans who both approve of Gov. Jared Polis and believe that Colorado is headed in the right direction.
Polling numbers aren’t as favorable for President Joe Biden, but that might be more of a casualty of the partisan/tribal nature of a post-Trump era of Presidential politics.
As Jonathan V. Last writes today for Bulwark, the Biden administration is deftly handling perhaps the three most significant governing issues of the day:
Inflation is coming under control and we may be headed for a soft landing; which would be a tremendous achievement.
Biden’s response to Ukraine is the most deft handling of foreign policy by an American president since Reagan and H.W. Bush’s handling of the Cold War endgame.
Here’s the headline from CATO’s Alex Nowrasteh: “Biden’s New Border Plan Slashes Illegal Immigration.”
The total number of encounters along the southwest (SW) border with Mexico dropped by 37.9 percent in the month following President Biden’s new immigration and border plan.
Over the weekend, Biden made a surprise and unprecedented visit to Ukraine to reaffirm American support for its war against Russia. With air-raid sirens blaring in the background, Biden walked the streets of Kiev with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. As images of leadership go, you’d be hard-pressed to come up with something more powerful than this:
And how did Republicans respond? With the only note they know how to play: Blindly criticizing Biden. Former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP’s nomination in 2024, even praised Russian President Vladimir Putin.
There is no arguing that 2022 was a devastating cycle for Colorado Republicans. The top of the GOP ticket saw candidates for Governor (Heidi Ganahl) and U.S. Senate (Joe O’Dea) get hammered by double-digit margins. Elsewhere, Republicans spent more than $13 million to lose two seats in the State Senate and now holds the ignominy of the smallest legislative minority in state history (only 31 of 100 seats are held by the GOP).
On a national scale, Republicans fumbled a favorable Senate map by nominating nutball candidates, which allowed Democrats to actually gain a Senate seat and avoid having to rely on Vice President Kamala Harris as a tie-breaking vote. Republicans avoided a complete disaster by managing to eke out a smaller-than-expected five-seat majority in the House of Representatives. Just how unexpected was this squeaker? Eight months earlier, then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy confidently predicted, “We’re going to win the majority, and it’s not going to be a five-seat majority.”
“We’re going to win the majority, and it’s not going to be a five-seat majority.”
— Kevin McCarthy in March 2022
McCarthy would end up being part of history in January…though not in a good way. McCarthy needed 15 different roll call votes to secure his role as Speaker of the House — something that hadn’t been seen in Congress since before the Civil freaking War.
Republicans are locked in a “Circle of Strife” here in Colorado as they look ahead to an increasingly-crowded field of candidates vying to lead the State GOP into 2024. Things aren’t much better elsewhere; Republicans chose an “election-denying demon hunter” as GOP Chair in Michigan and an ally of Donald Trump to be the new State Republican Party leader in Florida.
Over the weekend in Montana, former two-term Republican governor and onetime chairman of the Republican National Committee Marc Racicot was informed by the Montana Republican Party that a resolution had been approved in which it was declared that Racicot “would no longer be considered a Republican.” Racicot apparently had no idea that such a resolution was even being discussed.
The Republican Party is making national headlines for mostly bad reasons. At the same time, a Democratic President is racking up one policy win after another (and leaving plenty of oxygen in the room for other Democrats to claim their own victories), and elected Democrats in Colorado are proving voters correct for trusting them to govern the state effectively.
So, we ask again: Are Democrats really good at campaigning and governing, or is it just that Republicans are SO BAD at both?
The answer is simple: “Yes.”