WaPo columnist: Biden's support for progressive priorities a 'mistake'

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Washington Post columnist Henry Olsen said independents could swing “massively against” President Biden based on recent polling.

© Getty Images WaPo columnist: Biden’s support for progressive priorities a ‘mistake’

Olsen, during an appearance on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” said Biden’s recent polling averages reveal a “crater” in his support among independents, which he said has been sinking for months even before the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month found that 60 percent of independents disapprove of Biden’s performance.

“I think it’s a reflection of the fact that many independents thought they were vying a centrist when they voted for him, and in fact are now getting a liberal, and they don’t like that and so they’re giving him thumbs down,” Olsen said.

Olsen called Biden’s support for progressive priorities driving the reconciliation package a “mistake,” saying he should have pushed for a smaller package to appease his centrist supporters.

“What he’s going to have to do for this is get through this self-created crisis with the reconciliation package as best he can and then decisively shift to the center for 2022,” Olsen said.

As COVID-19 cases fall nationally, Olsen said issues like supply chain bottlenecks and high inflation could take center stage if the pandemic becomes a less salient issue.

“Recovery from the pandemic could simply replace one problem that’s sinking Biden with another problem that’s sinking Biden,” he said. “I don’t think there’s an easy fix to his dilemma.”

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