THE FIRST STEP IS ADMITTING YOU HAVE A PROBLEM

This is bad:
Echelon Insights is out with yet another poll showing Republican Glenn Youngkin ahead of Terry McAuliffe in the hotly contested race for the governor’s mansion.

In a sample of 611 likely voters, 49 percent supported Youngkin and 46 percent preferred McAuliffe....

The same survey showed Winsome Sears and Jason Miyares — the GOP’s candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general, respectively — ahead of their Democratic opponents. In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans, Youngkin’s lead is entirely attributable to his 17 point advantage with independents.
And this is bad:
A majority of Americans now disapprove of President Joe Biden's job performance, while half give him low marks for competence and uniting the country, according to results from the latest national NBC News poll.

What's more, the survey finds that 7 in 10 adults, including almost half of Democrats, believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction....

In the poll, 42 percent of adults say they approve of Biden’s overall job as president — a decline of 7 points since August, with much of the attrition coming from key parts of the Democratic base.

That’s compared to 54 percent who say they disapprove of the president’s job, which is up 6 points since August.
And if you think all this will magically turn around if Democrats in Congress manage to pass the reconciliation and infrastructure bills, there's this, which is also bad:
... a new ABC News/Ipsos poll out Sunday finds Democrats are failing to sell the legislation to the public, who are broadly unaware of what is in the spending packages or skeptical they would help people like themselves, or the economy, if signed into law.

... Although a majority (55%) of the public is following news about the negotiations at least somewhat closely, about 7 in 10 (69%) Americans said they know just some or little to nothing about what's in both bills. Fewer than half (31%) said they know a great deal or good amount.

The ABC News/Ipsos poll ... found that a plurality (32%) of Americans think the bills would hurt people like them if they became law, while fewer (25%) think it would help them. Nearly 2 in 10 (18%) think the bills would make no difference, and 24% said they didn't know.

Even among Democrats alone, fewer than half (47%) think the two bills would help people like them. A quarter of Democrats think the bills would make no difference for people like them and about 2 in 10 (22%) don't know how they would impact their lives.
A CBS poll reported similar results three weeks ago -- and yet Democrats seem to have done nothing to educate the public about what's in the bills, or to pressure or persuade the media to do more reporting on the content of the legislation. Yes, this is a media failure first and foremost, but Republicans work the refs every day, often successfully. Democrats don't.

The last two Democratic presidents also found themselves in the weeds in their first two years in office. Both watched their parties suffer bloodbaths in their first midterms. But both presidents won reelection, right? So we're not doomed, are we?

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were immensely talented politicians at the top of their game. They were young, vigorous, and charismatic. They were great speakers.

Joe Biden is ... Joe Biden. He's not vigorous, charismatic, or a great speaker. If he's losing the confidence of Americans, does he have the ability to persuade them that he's a steady hand who can steer the country out of trouble?

And does he understand that he should start trying to do that soon?

This moment is reminding me of the fall of 1988, when Michael Dukakis, the Democratic presidential nominee, blew a 17-point post-convention lead in the polls under relentless attacks from the GOP. Dukakis lost that race because he didn't punch back and he didn't find a way to change the subject when the GOP attacks dominated the news cycle. Joe Biden doesn't seem to know how to make news in a way that helps him. Vice President Harris doesn't seem to have that skill either, or she's not trying because it's believed that she shouldn't upstage the president, or it's been decided that she should keep a low profile because she's not sufficiently well liked, although maybe she'd be liked if some effort were made to change the way the public sees her. Or maybe everyone in the Democratic Party thinks things are going as well as they possibly could.

I don't believed we're doomed -- but we're doomed if Democrats keep doing what they're doing while expecting change to just happen. Democrats need to fight back. They need to fight as hard to win news cycles as Republicans do -- no, harder, because the right-wing media will always amplify Republican propaganda, and the mainstream media prefers right-wing messaging whenever Democrats are actually trying to govern. Democrats have to understand that they're in a more difficult struggle than they were during the Trump years, because the press likes Democrats when they're out of power and Republicans have clearly failed, but the press despises Democrats when they're in power. That sucks, but it's reality, and Democrats need to start acting as if they recognize reality.