February 24, 2024


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Biden approval plummets to near Carter level: Gallup

President Biden faces Jimmy Carter-like approval ratings as he barrels towards the end of his first term and Election Day in November.

Biden’s job approval rating stands at 38%, just one point above his all-time low and far below the 50% rating typical of presidents who are re-elected, according to a new Gallup survey. 

‘Biden’s overall job rating has slipped to 38%, and his ratings on immigration, the Israel-Hamas situation, foreign affairs and the economy are even lower,’ said Megan Brenan, a research consultant at Gallup. 

‘He has lost some ground among his party in recent months on immigration and the situations in the Middle East and Ukraine, though his overall rating hasn’t dropped among Democrats.’ 

Biden’s numbers are reminiscent of modern one-term presidents, including Carter, who averaged a record-low 37.4% after his third year in office. Former President Donald Trump, whom Biden defeated in 2020, left office in January 2021 with a personal all-time low 34% approval rating. 

A clear majority of Americans, 59%, disapprove of how Biden has performed in office, according to the poll. 

The president has negative numbers on major issues facing the U.S., but his worst issue by far is immigration. Only 28% of survey respondents approve of how the president has handled the border, while a walloping 67% disapprove.

Americans have also soured on the president’s handling of foreign affairs, with 62% disapproval of his leadership amid the Israel-Hamas war; 53% disapproving of Biden’s record on Ukraine; and 62% disapproving of his handling of foreign affairs in general.

‘Biden’s approval rating has not risen above 44% since August 2021, and his 39.8% average rating for his third year in office was the second worst among post-World War II presidents elected to their first term,’ Brenan observed.

If there is a silver lining for the president, it’s that Americans are slightly more upbeat about his handling of the economy. Low unemployment, stabilizing inflation and record-high stock market numbers have contributed to a four-point increase in his approval ratings on the economy to 36%, up from 32% in the last Gallup survey. 

That incremental increase was buoyed by independents, who moved six points in Biden’s direction to 30% approval on the economy. 

The survey results show Biden has some work to do to recapture support from Democrats on immigration and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While about three-quarters of Democrats approve of his handling of the economy, only 55% approve of Biden’s job on immigration, and 51% rate him positively on situations in the Middle East.

Overall, Biden’s approval rating among Democrats stands at 82%, but is still lower than the near-unanimous approval Gallup recorded during his first 11 months in office, Brenan said. 

Republicans unsurprisingly rate Biden poorly, giving him just 3% approval on immigration and 4% on the economy. 

Independents give Biden a 32% approval rating, which is largely unchanged from previous Gallup surveys.

The Gallup survey was conducted by telephone interviews from Feb. 1-20, with a random sample of 1,016 American adults living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. 

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