Biden sinks to lowest approval level of his presidency

One year since he was sworn in as the 46th American president, voters are giving Mr Biden and his allies poor marks for their handling of the coronavirus and the US economy

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Tuesday 25 January 2022 12:39
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One year after President Joe Biden raised his right hand to swear the presidential oath of office, more Americans disapprove of his performance and believe their country is on the right track than at any point since his term began.

Of the 2,005 registered voters surveyed by Morning Consult and Politico, more than half – 56 per cent – either somewhat or strongly disapprove of the job Mr Biden has done in his first year as America’s chief executive, with just 16 per cent strongly approving of his performance and a quarter of respondents approving of his work somewhat.

Worse yet for Mr Biden and his party, more than two-thirds of Americans — a full 68 per cent of respondents — believe the country has “pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track” under his leadership with Democratic control of both the House of Representatives and Senate. That’s just a single percentage point better than what respondents told Morning Consult in a similar poll taken the week after voters denied former president Donald Trump a second term in the White House, when 69 per cent of the 1,987 registered voters surveyed said the country was on the wrong track.

Only 32 per cent of respondents said they believe the country is on the right track at this point in Mr Biden’s term.

The dismal numbers from the poll, which was released hours before Mr Biden is set to hold what will be only his second formal news conference since taking office, are just the latest in a series of polls showing Mr Biden and Democrats in dire straits heading into the 2022 midterm elections.

Much of the dismal outlook on Mr Biden’s record can be attributed to Americans’ views on how he has handled the US economy as president.

Though Labour Department data shows unemployment rates have rebounded from the pandemic-addled highs seen in the last year of Mr Trump’s term and Americans are getting paid more for their work than at any point in the last two decades, Mr Biden and his allies in Congress are getting little to no credit for their stewardship of the world’s largest economy.

When asked who they trust more to handle the economy, respondents chose congressional Republicans over Democrats by a margin of 47 per cent to 34 per cent. The GOP gets higher marks on handling the issue of jobs as well, with 45 per cent preferring Republicans to 35 per cent for Democrats.

Americans’ views on how Mr Biden and Democrats are handling the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic — once an area where both got some of their highest marks from voters — have also turned against them after a year in which they’ve had control of the executive and legislative branches of the US government.

A plurality of respondents — 44 per cent — say Mr Biden’s handling of the coronavirus has been “poor,” with 21 per cent rating it “good” and just 14 per cent rating it “excellent”. His congressional allies fared even worse, with just nine per cent rating their handling of the coronavirus as “excellent,” 24 per cent rating them “good,” 20 per cent “fair” and 38 per cent giving them a “poor” rating.

Yet when it comes to who they trust more to handle the virus going forward, Democrats still hold a slight advantage with 39 per cent saying they trust them to the 35 per cent who said they trust the GOP more. However, a clear majority of voters surveyed – 58 per cent – said it was a “top priority” for congress to act to stimulate the economy to cover from the pandemic.

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