Between House Oversight Committee revelations and the Biden administration’s shifting answers on just how involved Joe Biden was with Hunter’s business affairs, it seems the shady ordeal has made its way into public opinion.
A new poll from CNN confirms the worst for the president: A majority of Americans believe that he, as Barack Obama’s Vice President, was involved with Hunter’s business. And it’s not a slight majority, either – 61 percent believe he was at least somewhat involved and 55 percent say he has acted inappropriately during the investigation.
A majority, 61%, say they think that Biden had at least some involvement in Hunter Biden’s business dealings, with 42% saying they think he acted illegally, and 18% saying that his actions were unethical but not illegal. Another 38% say they don’t believe Joe Biden had any involvement in his son’s business dealings during his vice presidency. Just 1% believe Biden was involved, but did not do anything wrong.
A 55% majority of the public says the president has acted inappropriately regarding the investigation into Hunter Biden over potential crimes, while 44% say that he has acted appropriately.
In defense of Biden, CNN helpfully points out that House Republicans have yet to prove that the President himself personally benefitted from any of Hunter’s business deals. However, if Biden, as vice president, was directing public policy in a way that benefitted his son, that is an ethics nightmare at best.
But, despite that defense, the implication of the poll is clear: A significant number of Americans do not trust that Biden was acting responsibly, and may have, in fact, behaved corruptly.
The partisan breakdown in the poll is something to pay attention to, though the write-up tries to whitewash some of Biden’s problems (emphasis mine).
Americans’ views on Joe Biden’s conduct related to Hunter Biden largely divide along partisan lines. Fewer than one-third of Democrats believe that Biden had involvement in his son’s business dealings, or that he has acted inappropriately regarding the investigation. Even among Democratic-aligned voters who say they’d prefer to see their party nominate someone different in next year’s presidential election, just 37% believe Joe Biden was involved in his son’s business dealings, and only 29% find his actions regarding the investigation inappropriate. In response to an open-ended question asking for their biggest concern about Joe Biden as a candidate, almost none mentioned the situation regarding Hunter Biden.
By contrast, broad majorities of Republicans say they think Joe Biden acted illegally in regards to his son’s business dealings (76%), and behaved inappropriately regarding the later investigation into Hunter Biden (90%). Independents mostly say Joe Biden did have some involvement in Hunter Biden’s business dealings while serving as vice president (64%), but fewer (39%) say he acted illegally in doing so. About half feel he has acted inappropriately regarding the investigation (52%).
While you can couch the numbers “just 37%” and “only 29%,” statistically, that’s roughly one out of every three Democrats who prefer someone other than Biden in 2024. That is not an insignificant number. That is dangerous. Even saying “fewer than one-third of Democrats believe” means almost one out of every three total Democrats. That’s not a good number for Biden, no matter how you explain it.
If close to one-third of Democrats believe Joe Biden was involved and acted inappropriately, that is one-third of your voting base who is less likely to show up in a critical re-election bid, which is not something Biden can afford when his best-case scenario at present is tying with Donald Trump in the current political climate.