If ever there was a reliable constant of Joe Biden’s campaign and presidency, it’s been his habit of invoking the middle class. In his most recent State of the Union speech, Biden said he and Vice President Kamala Harris have sought to “build the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, not from the top down.” Two days ago, in a statement on his new 2023 budget proposal, Biden promised the plan would “grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out.” During his most recent run for president, Biden often took time in debates and public remarks to lament the struggles of the middle class. In a late-2019 debate, when the discussion veered to the economy, Biden warned, “The middle class is getting killed. The middle class is getting crushed. And the working class has no way up as a consequence of that.”
The sensible conclusion would be that two years of consistent messaging from Joe Biden would yield a strong association between the leader of the Democratic Party and president of the United States and how he prioritizes the middle class. But new polling obtained exclusively by The New Republic shows Americans actually associate the middle class more with the Republican Party than with the Democratic Party.