In every election, exit polls are always fallible, and as mail-in and absentee voting comprises a growing share of ballots, exit polling captures even less of the totality of overall voter opinion. However, if CNN’s first exit polls prove at all accurate, the midterm elections will not wind up a red wave; they’ll be a crimson blood bath.
More than a third of CNN respondents reported they were “angry” with the way things are going in the country, and nearly 2 in 5 said they were dissatisfied. All in all, just 1 in 4 approve of the country’s direction. Nearly half of respondents said that President Joe Biden’s policies are “hurting” the country, with little more than 1 in 3 claiming the president’s policies are helping.
Worst for Biden, his approval rating is identical to that of Donald Trump at the same point in his own presidency.
With the exception of just two midterm elections in the past century, the party in power always pays with lost House seats in the polls, but few have faced an electoral reckoning with inflation at its highest point in four decades, violent crime increasing for the first time in three decades, and a recession due to hit as the national debt approaches $32 trillion.
Biden and his backers may have hoped to make this election about the state of “democracy” and his polarizing predecessor. But should the CNN exit polls hold, the midterm elections are winding up to be more a referendum against the Democrats themselves.