Biden’s approval rating didn’t exceed 40 per cent in May, June or July as inflation surged in the aftermath of Russia invading Ukraine.
The president’s rating now is similar to what it was throughout the first quarter of the year, but he continues to fall short of early highs. His average approval rating in AP-NORC polling through the first six months of his term was 60 per cent.
Driving the recent increase in Biden’s popularity is renewed support among Democrats, who had shown signs of dejection in the early summer. Now, 78 per cent of Democrats approve of Biden’s job performance, up from 65 per cent in July. Sixty-six per cent of Democrats approve of Biden on the economy, up from 54 per cent in June.
Interviews suggest a big reason for Biden’s rebound is the re-emergence of Trump on the national stage, causing voters such as Stephen Jablonsky, who labeled Biden as “OK,” to say voting Democratic is a must for the nation’s survival.
“The country has a political virus by the name of Donald Trump,” said Jablonsky, a retired music professor from Stamford, Connecticut. “We have a man who is psychotic and seems to have no concern for law and order and democracy. The Republican Party has gone to a place that is so unattractive and so dangerous, this coming election in November could be the last election we ever have.”
Republicans feel just as negative about Biden as they did before. Only about 1 in 10 Republicans approve of the president overall or on the economy, similar to ratings earlier this summer.
Christine Yannuzzi, 50, doubts that 79-year-old Biden has the capacity to lead.
“I don’t think he’s mentally, completely aware of everything that’s happening all the time,” said Yannuzzi, who lives in Binghamton, New York. “The economy’s doing super poorly and I have a hard time believing that the joblessness rate is as low as they say it is.”
“I think the middle class is being really phased out and families are working two and three jobs a person to make it,” the Republican added.
Twenty-nine percent of US adults say the economy is in good shape, while 71 per cent say it’s doing poorly. In June, 20 per cent said conditions were good and 79 per cent said they were bad.
Democrats are more positive now than they were in June, 46 per cent v 31 per cent. Republicans remain largely negative, with only 10 per cent saying conditions are good and 90 per cent saying they’re bad.
About a quarter of Americans now say things in the country are headed in the right direction, 27 per cent, up from 17 per cent in July. Seventy-two percent say things are going in the wrong direction.
Close to half of Democrats — 44 per cent — have an optimistic outlook, up from 27 per cent in July. Just 9 per cent of Republicans are optimistic about the nation’s direction.
Akila Atkins, a 27-year-old stay-at-home mom of two, thinks Biden is “OK” and doesn’t have much confidence that his solutions will curb rising prices.
Atkins says it’s gotten a little harder in the last year to manage her family’s expenses, and she’s frustrated that she can no longer rely on the expanded child tax credit. The tax credit paid out monthly was part of Biden’s $US1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package and has since lapsed.
The Census Bureau reported Tuesday that the expanded tax credit nearly halved the child poverty rate last year to 5.2 per cent. Atkins said it helped them “stay afloat with bills, the kids’ clothing, shoes, school supplies, everything.“
Whatever misgivings the Democrat in Grand Forks, North Dakota, has about Biden, she believes he is preferable to Trump.
“I always feel like he could be better, but then again, he’s better than our last president,” she said.
The poll of 1054 adults was conducted September 9-12 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the US population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
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