Steven F. Hayward, a professor and author, suggested in an op-ed for the New York Post that despite strong economic numbers, President Biden has low ratings because the economy might not be benefiting most Americans.
"Biden should benefit from what’s usually the single most important factor in determining whether an incumbent president is re-elected: a robust economy," he wrote, noting strong unemployment rates, a rise in consumer confidence and easing inflation. "Below the headline economic numbers are indicators the overall economy may not be strong or benefiting most Americans."
Hayward noted that household debt was on the rise and therefore could indicate Americans were spending more to keep up with higher prices.
"Millennials in particular — people between the ages of 30 and 39 — are falling behind in debt payments at a much higher rate than other groups," he wrote.
"A lot of the headline prosperity of the moment is the result of old-fashioned Keynesian-style government outlays, and we should not be surprised Biden’s blowout multitrillion-dollar spending spree is juicing the economy," Hayward continued.
A Fox News poll from November found 78% of voters rate the economy negatively, including 47% who describe it as being in "poor" condition, compared to April 2021, when 28% said conditions were poor.
Hayward said that the president's spending is "skewed towards the rich," and wrote that a "disproportionate amount" of job growth in 2023 came from government jobs.
"In other words, the top-line prosperity of the economy is not being widely distributed, which is Democratic Party dogma," Hayward said. "It’s one reason recent polls show Trump leading Biden by 25 points on which candidate is thought to be a better steward of the economy."
Voters have been sounding the alarm on the economy for several months, which has been met with confusion from political experts and the Biden administration.
"Things are getting better and people think things are going to get worse — and that’s the most dangerous piece of this," Democratic pollster Celinda Lake recently told the Associated Press.
Lake also said that voters want prices to fall, not just inflation. "Honestly, I’m kind of mystified by it," she told the media outlet.
Democratic strategist James Carville said Wednesday that Democrats should stop telling voters that the economy is good and let them experience it for themselves.
"People live in an economy and they feel it," Carville said on CNN Wednesday. "And we know from the Clinton years and we know from the Obama years that it takes a lot — you have to go pretty deep into a recovery where people are feeling it."
Carville said that Biden should "talk about things they've done to help families cope with cost-of-living increases, like the prescription drugs or releasing the strategic petroleum reserve or other things that they've done to clear up the supply chain."
Fox News' Jeffrey Clark contributed to this report.