President Biden kept a low profile Tuesday as voters told exit pollsters they were “dissatisfied” with the direction of the country and that Biden should not run again in 2024.
The president placed at least five calls to fellow Democratic leaders and made a video-streamed appearance to thank phone bank volunteers, but had no public events.
The midterm elections will shape the next two years of Biden’s term — with Republicans expected to block much of his agenda and launch oversight investigations if they retake one or both chambers of Congress.
Biden’s relative silence on Election Day isn’t unusual. His predecessor Donald Trump also had no public events in 2018, though the 45th president did attend a private evening watch party at the White House.
Preliminary exit polls pointed to a potentially bleak night for Biden and his Democratic allies.
CBS News found that about 66% of voters nationwide don’t want to see Biden run again in 2024, while just 30% wanted a Biden candidacy in 2024. It’s possible that survey skewed in favor of Republicans because Democrats disproportionately voted by mail.
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CNN’s exit polling also found that 73% of voters were “dissatisfied” or “angry” about the direction of the country. Just 25% said they were “satisfied” or “enthusiastic.”
Biden received a 45% approval rating from the CNN sample. Only 18% said their vote was cast to “support” the president and just 36% of respondents said that Biden’s policies were “helping” the country.
The CNN survey, however, suggested that abortion was a major factor among in-person voters, which could benefit Democrats who campaigned against the Supreme Court’s June reversal of Roe v. Wade.
About 32% of voters told CNN that inflation was their top issue, followed by abortion at 27% and crime and gun policy at 12% each.