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July 2, 2022

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Poll: Biden’s approval lowest of his presidency

Poor ratings reflect pessimism amid inflation, pandemic

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President Joe Biden’s approval rating dipped to the lowest point of his presidency in May, a new poll shows, with deepening pessimism emerging among members of his own Democratic Party.

Only 39 percent of U.S. adults approve of Biden’s performance as president, according to the poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Research, dipping from already negative ratings a month earlier.

Overall, only about 2 in 10 adults say the U.S. is heading in the right direction or the economy is good, both down from about 3 in 10 a month earlier. Those drops were concentrated among Democrats, with just 33 percent saying the country is headed in the right direction, down from 49 percent in April.

Biden’s approval among Democrats stands at 73 percent, a substantial drop since earlier in his presidency. In AP-NORC polls conducted in 2021, his approval rating among Democrats never dropped below 82 percent.

The findings reflect a widespread sense of exasperation in a country facing a cascade of challenges ranging from inflation, gun violence and a sudden shortage of baby formula to a persistent pandemic.

“I don’t know how much worse it can get,” said Milan Ramsey, a 29-year-old high school counselor and Democrat in Santa Monica, Calif., who with her husband had to move into her parents’ house to raise their infant son.

Ramsey thinks the economic dysfunction isn’t Biden’s fault. But she’s alarmed that he hasn’t implemented ambitious plans for fighting climate change or fixing health care.

“He hasn’t delivered on any of the promises. I feel like the stimulus checks came out and that was the last win of his administration,” Ramsey said of Biden. “I think he’s tired — and I don’t blame him, I’d be tired too at his age with the career he’s had.”

Republicans have not been warm to Biden for a while. Less than 10 percent approve of the president or his handling of the economy, but that’s no different from last month.

Gerry Toranzo, a nurse and a Republican in Chicago, blames Biden for being forced to pinch pennies by taking steps like driving slower to conserve gas after prices have skyrocketed during his administration.

“His policies are destroying the economy,” Toranzo, 46, said of Biden, blaming him for stopping the Keystone XL fuel pipeline to Canada and hamstringing domestic energy production. “It’s a vicious cycle of price increases.”

Overall, two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy. That rating is largely unchanged over the last few months.

Just 18 percent of Americans say Biden’s policies have done more to help than hurt the economy, down slightly from 24 percent in March. Fifty-one percent say they’ve done more to hurt than help, while 30 percent say they haven’t made much difference either way.

The percentage of Democrats who say Biden’s policies have done more to help dipped from 45 percent to 37 percent, though just 18 percent say they’ve done more to hurt; 44 percent say they’ve made no difference.

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