Biden approval hits new low of 36% as Democrats try to push major legislation over the finish line

President faces worst numbers on handling of economy, foreign policy

John Bowden
Friday 19 November 2021 00:36
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Acrimonious days loom on Capitol Hill as spending debate rages on

President Joe Biden faces his lowest level of approval from Americans yet as his party seeks to push a bill full of the party’s legislative priorities over the finish line on Capitol Hill, according to a new poll.

In a Quinnipiac University poll published on Thursday and taken 11-15 November, just 36 per cent of US adults said that Mr Biden was doing a good job as president. Fifty-three per cent said they disapproved of his job performance.

The poll broke down Mr Biden’s handling of specific issues for respondents and asked their opinion of the president’s management of each one since taking office; Mr Biden scored low marks on several, with the economy and foreign policy being particular areas of concern.

Fifty-five per cent said that they disapproved of Mr Biden’s handling of US foreign policy, and 59 per cent gave unfavourable reviews of the president’s management of the economy. Just about a third of Americans approved of his performance on both issues.

The poll did not break down the approval rating questions into responses from Democrats, Republicans and independent voters, but still shows a trend of continued polarisation in Washington that persists despite Mr Biden’s claim in 2020 that he would unify the country if elected.

Mr Biden’s approval rating mirrors that of former President Donald Trump in the same poll taken in May of 2017, with voters at the time citing deep concerns about Mr Trump’s honesty as well as whether or not he shared their same general values.

The president has faced a polling downturn in recent weeks amid a continued barrage of criticism from Republicans over issues such as immigration and Covid-19 vaccine mandates, while also facing issues presented by surging inflation which is driving up prices for consumers around the US right as the holiday shopping season kicks into gear.

A September Quinnipiac poll previously found the president with a positive job performance rating from 42 per cent of Americans, while 50 per cent disapproved of his performance.

His party in the House and Senate, meanwhile, is focused on delivering the second half of a two-pronged infrastructure push: a $1.9 trillion package of social safety net spending and climate change provisions set to be passed through the budget reconciliation process as soon as this week.

Democrats also face the prospect of midterm elections next year in which they are hoping to hold on to control of two chambers of Congress. A shocking loss by the party’s nominee in the race for the Virginia governor’s mansion earlier this month made the party’s potential weakness all too clear.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,378 adults with a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points.

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