OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
President Joe Biden continues to hemorrhage political support among key demographics that went for him in 2020 and helped propel him to victory.
According to a new survey published at the weekend, Biden is now losing suburban moms as the shortage of baby formula spreads around the country, even as he was already in trouble with them over historic inflation that is producing record-high gas, food, and energy prices, the Washington Times reported:
Images of empty store shelves and stories of frantic parents searching for food to feed their infants, coupled with reports that the Biden administration is shipping pallets of scarce formula to the southern border to feed illegal immigrant children, now threaten to crater the party’s already weakened support among suburban women.
“Democrats have seen a double-digit decline among their strongest groups, especially women who are already struggling to stretch a dollar,” Republican strategist Ryan Girdusky told the outlet. “But now they’re trying to find food for their children.”
Women were a principal voting bloc for Biden in 2020; exit polls showed they went for him by 57-47 percent over Trump.
However, in recent months, support among women for Biden has substantially eroded, and though he won’t be on the ballot in November, Democrats generally have seen their party’s approval ratings fall along with his and Vice President Kamala Harris as prices spiked and formula became scarce.
“That hits home,” noted David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “You can’t get any closer to a suburban woman than making her run all over the place to find baby food. There is nothing that hits that demographic more directly, than not having what your infant needs every day.”
The Times added:
A February poll conducted by Marist and published in collaboration with NPR and PBS Newshour found that 45% of suburban women surveyed said they approved of President Biden’s job performance, a double-digit decline from a poll taken two months earlier.
A Marist poll taken in late April showed suburban women favored Republicans over Democrats on the economy and slowing inflation, two top voter concerns. Among parents with children under 18, registered voters said they would pick a Republican over a Democrat in November’s congressional election by a nearly 30-point margin, 60% to 32%.
The baby formula shortage may escalate the flight to the GOP among suburban voters and particularly women.
“Inflation and supply chain problems have badly damaged Biden’s public standing and Democratic midterm prospects,” Ron Faucheux, a pollster and nonpartisan political analyst, told the Times “This is particularly true among independents and suburban women, and could get worse if the problems get worse.”
And Republicans are picking up on the widening chasm; GOP congressional candidate in Texas Wesley Hunt tweeted, “Parents can’t buy baby formula, but taxpayer-funded crack pipes are in the mail.”
Clearly, the Biden administration bears at least some responsibility for the current formula shortage. The Food and Drug Administration ordered formula-maker Abbott to close its Sturgis, Mich., plant in February for an extended period after some infants became ill. The company noted soon afterward that it could find nothing in its formulas that would cause any illness.
That said, company officials say while the plant could be back up and running within a couple weeks after getting FDA approval, it will still be months before the product starts reaching store shelves again.
“From the time we restart the site, it will take six to eight weeks before the product is available on shelves,” a spokeswoman for the company told the Times.
The survey showing the loss of support among suburban women is just the latest in a series of bad polls for Biden and Harris.
Another survey that dropped this weekend shows Biden losing the majority of support from so-called “purple voters” who cast ballots for President Donald Trump in 2016 but switched and voted for Biden/Harris in 2020.
The poll looked at voters who supported former President Donald Trump in 2016 but jumped to Biden in 2020, finding that now, just 3 in 10 of those voters would cast a ballot for the former long-serving U.S. senator from Delaware.
The survey, “published by Republican public opinion research firm J.L. Partners, also found 1 in 5 of the same voters graded Biden as performing ‘very well’ as president. Voters older than 65 were more critical of Biden, with 7% echoing the assessment,” the Washington Examiner reported.