Top Pollster’s Poll: Biden’s Support Among Independents Has ‘Collapsed’

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A new poll conducted by one of the most respected pollsters in politics has found President Biden’ s support among independents has collapsed.

The Grinnell College National Poll results, which derive from a poll taken Oct. 13-17, 2021, by Selzer & Company, on behalf of Grinnell College, stated, “Biden’s support among independent voters has collapsed.”

J. Ann Selzer of Selzer & Company stated, “In 2020 exit polling, President Biden won independent voters by a 54% to 41% margin. If the election were held today, our poll shows former President Trump winning that group 45% to 28%. It is a massive shift in a demographic that helped carry Biden to victory less than two years ago.”

Additionally, the poll found “Joe Biden’s approval ratings overall and in three specific areas of focus are all under 50%. When asked whether they approve of the job President Biden is doing, only 37% approve (50% disapprove). Disapproval is highest when it comes to his handling of immigration (27% approve; 58% disapprove) and the economy (36% approve; 53% disapprove). Additionally, only 36% of Americans believe the economy will be in a stronger position 12 months from now – an 11-point drop from March 2021.”

The Grinnell College National Poll states, “First launched as a pilot project in August of 2018, the poll partners Grinnell College faculty and students with nationally-renowned pollster J. Ann Selzer to probe the political attitudes of the American public, providing thoughtful and timely information on current events, national trends and important policy questions.”

In January 2016, in an article titled, “Ann Seltzer Is The Best Pollster in Politics,” FiveThirtyEight wrote:

When Homer wrote of his hero Odysseus, he was “that godlike man.” The D.C. poets use the same laudatory epithet-style when they sing of Selzer; she is uniformly “the great” or “most respected” or, as I saw on a book jacket recently while walking through the Des Moines airport, “Iowa’s ‘polling queen.’”

It’s a reputation that is not unearned: She has on more than one occasion foretold an outcome that no one else saw coming, been pilloried for it, and not budged — the polling Cassandra of Des Moines. 

This unwillingness to guess lies at the heart of her thinking about polling; Selzer doesn’t want to prejudice herself. “I like to say, “Keep your dirty hands off your data,’” she said. “That’s the making assumptions of what is or isn’t going to happen and then deciding you’re going to weight down the minority vote because you don’t think they’re going to show up.”

Seltzer told FiveThirtyEight: “We are not like many other polling firms that say, ‘Well, we think’ — they begin with a guess about what they think the future is going to look like. I don’t think that’s science.”

FiveThirtyEight reported on Thursday, “Two groups with whom Biden has lost support stand out: independents and Hispanics. Independents have soured on Biden to the extent that his approval ratings among this group approach the strongly negative ratings they gave then-President Donald Trump at the same point in his presidency, while increased disapproval of Biden among Hispanics could signal they are moving further away from Democrats after they shifted somewhat toward Trump and the GOP last November.”

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