President Biden’s economic approval ratings have hit a record low for his presidency — and surpassed the lowest ratings of the previous two presidents, new polling shows.
The grim poll came from the New York Times and Siena College. The three worst parts were: Biden’s approval rating registered at 33 percent; just 13 percent of Americans say the country is heading in the right direction; and 64 percent of Democrats say they would prefer someone else as the party’s nominee in 2024.
With midterm elections approaching, the CNN poll finds that Biden’s standing with the public is deteriorating. Biden’s approval rating among Democrats for handling the economy is on the decline (62% approve, down from 71% this spring). And on inflation, it is barely above water (51% of Democrats approve, 47% disapprove).
The public’s perceptions of the economy and of how things are going in the country overall are deeply negative and worsening. Since the spring, the share saying things are going badly for the country has climbed 11 points to 79%, the highest since February 2009, and shy of the all-time worst reached in November 2008 by just four points. That shift comes largely among Democrats. Just 38% of Democrats now say things are going well in the country, down from 61% this spring. Likewise, there’s been a steep drop among people of color, from 41% saying things were going well in the spring to 27% now.
64% of Democrats want the party to choose a different candidate for the 2024 presidential race.
The poll was released one day after the Times reported that some White House staffers are questioningwhether the president can handle the rigors of what is expected to be a grueling campaign — citing the increasing number of gaffes in his speeches and a noticeable change in the way Biden walks.
Nicole Farrier, a 38-year-old preschool teacher in Michigan, confessed she voted for Biden in 2020 in the hope that he would be able to bridge the political divisions in the country, but has become thoroughly disillusioned now.
“I’m just going to come out and say it: I want younger blood,” Farrier said. “I am so tired of all old people running our country. I don’t want someone knocking on death’s door.”
As with many Americans, increases in the cost of food, gasoline and other items over the past year-plus have put a dent in Farrier’s pocketbook.
“I went from living a comfortable lifestyle to I can’t afford anything anymore,” she said.
“I feel like he hasn’t really spoken much about it,” Kelly King, 38, a former factory worker in Greensburg, Ind. said. “He hasn’t done what I think he’s capable of doing as president to help the American people. As a Democrat, I figured he would really be on our side and put us back on the right track. And I just feel like he’s not.”
At this point, King added, she hopes Republicans prevail in the 2022 midterms to chart a new course for the US.
John Waldron, 69, of Schenectady, NY, is another Biden voter who plans to vote for a GOP candidate in 2024.
“I thought he was going to do something for this country, but now he’s doing nothing,” said Waldron, a registered Republican and retired machinist.
Like many others, he’s concerned with the president’s age and his tendency toward verbal missteps, at one point comparing the leader of the free world to zombies.
Clearly a lot of people, including many who voted for Biden in 2020, have lost faith in his leadership. His approval rating among Democrats in the Times-Siena poll was 70 percent, which is below what should be expected in such a polarized country.
The reasons for voters’ discontent are many. Inflation gnaws at family incomes; a president bears the brunt of that concern. The pandemic appears to be having lasting effects on many aspects of life and work, adding to the unease. The sense that government doesn’t work is widespread. All of that is working against the Democrats.
The economic report showed prices rising 9.1 percent year-over-year, a four-decade high. It was the latest reminder of how stubborn this supposedly transitory inflation has turned out to be and why it continues to be cited as the top issue for voters as they think about November’s midterm elections.
The political climate remains more than worrisome for the party in power. With Republicans needing to pick up just five seats to take control of the House, most Democrats are conceding that they will be in the minority in the House and possibly the Senate starting in January.