As Alabama Republican and Democratic executive committees prepare for midterm elections, President Joe Biden’s impact is felt by both parties.
The president’s declining approval ratings are bolstering Republican optimism about holding its dominant position politically statewide as well as presenting an opportunity for Republicans to retake control of one or both Houses of Congress. The president’s declining popularity is making it harder for Alabama Democrats to build momentum going into the Nov. 8 general election.
Economic issues and Americans’ anxiety over inflation weigh heavily on the president’s approval numbers. The last six national polls on Americans’ perceptions of the president’s performance on economic issues have not been favorable.
Over the month of July, various polls show increasing disapproval of Biden’s handling of the economy, ranging from 53% (Economist/YouGov poll) to 68% (FOX News poll). Approval percentages ranged from 29% (Quinnipiac poll) to 39% (Economist/YouGov poll). Polls by Politico/Morning Consult, CNBC, and CNN fell within these ranges.
The Biden Administration is bracing itself for a commerce report due on Thursday that potentially could show that gross domestic product fell for a second consecutive quarter. This would be the textbook definition of a recession. Economists polled by Reuters have forecast a gain of just 0.5%, which would mean that the economy is not in recession; however, 28% of the 78 economists that responded are predicting a contraction. The economy shrank 1.6% annualized in the first-quarter GDP.
Treasury officials said on Monday that overall income and jobs figures suggested the economy was in good health and not in a recession.
Ben Harris, Treasury assistant secretary for economic policy, and Neil Mehrotra, deputy assistant secretary for macroeconomics, wrote that gross domestic income (GDI), which measures aggregate income -- wages, business profits, rental and interest income -- continued to rise in the first quarter at a 1.8% annual pace, while GDP fell.
"To get an accurate real-time read on the economy, economists need to look across several measures of economic activity to infer the true pace of growth," they wrote. "On the whole, our view is that the data strongly suggest we are not currently in a recession and that this year's first quarter growth was likely favorable when looking at income, employment, and overall production.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also rejected the classic definition of a recession when asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Sunday.
Todd asked: “If the technical definition is two quarters of contraction, you’re saying that’s not a recession?”
“That’s not the technical definition,” Yellen replied. “There is an organization called the National Bureau of Economic Research that looks at a broad range of data in deciding whether or not there is a recession. And most of the data that they look at right now continues to be strong. I would be amazed if they would declare this period to be a recession, even if it happens to have two quarters of negative growth. We have a very strong labor market. When you are creating almost 400,000 jobs a month, that is not a recession.”
The Alabama Republican Party holds commanding supermajorities in both Houses of the Alabama Legislature as well as every statewide elected office, including all of the appellate courts. Republicans need to pick up a net gain of one Senate seat to take control of the U.S. Senate and seven seats in the House of Representatives to take control of that body. Democrats have controlled the Presidency, the House and the Senate since 2021.
“The Commerce Department report will confirm what all America already knows: we are in a Biden-induced recession,” said Alabama Republican Executive Committee member Perry O Hooper Jr. “This will assure that Republicans remain a supermajority in the Alabama Legislature. More importantly, it will be the basis for the final nail in the coffin for Democrat control of the US House and Senate. No president has driven our economy into the ground as fast as Biden and his socialist agenda. It’s not even close.”
“Led by true patriots like Senator Tommy Tuberville and soon-to-be Senator Katie Britt, the red wave could turn into a red tsunami,” Hooper predicted.
On Aug. 13, the Alabama Republican Executive Committee will meet at the Renaissance Hotel and Conference Center in Montgomery, while the State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC) will meet at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email [email protected].
Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.