Biden's anti-mobilization and big stimulus, Romney's child allowance
Plus — did public sector unionization cause neoliberalism?
Hey folks, it’s Saturday and it’s time for some more quick takes.
Joe Biden is not-unpopular
According to 538’s tracker, Joe Biden is far more popular than Donald Trump ever was but still has an unusually low approval rating for a newly elected president — a sign of our polarized times in which achieving really high numbers is probably impossible.
What Biden has pulled off, and what may be the best one can hope for in this day and age, is achieving a low disapproval rating. He’s pretty low-key, he’s trying to avoid unpopular policy ideas, he’s going the extra mile to stay out of random controversies like GameStop, and even as Congress works very rapidly on a COVID-19 relief bill, he’s not all over the media spiking the football.
There’s a lot of political wisdom built around the idea that certain politicians can “rev up” or “mobilize” the base.
But an interesting 2015 paper by Andrew Hall looking at House candidates found the opposite. When relatively extreme nominees win a primary, the…