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CBS Poll Shows How Badly Biden Is Losing the Messaging War

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Nearly two-thirds of Americans are calling on President Biden to take more action to lower gas prices and alleviate inflation as an increasing number of people — including many independents and a growing number of Democrats — show that the White House's messaging isn't working. The bad news for Biden's strategy comes some six months until the midterms and as his approval rating falls to 42 percent in CBS News/YouGov polling.


The latest survey shows that, even with President Biden's frequent remarks about the jobs that he claims were created by his build back better agenda, Americans aren't buying the spin. Due to 40-year high inflation and gas prices that hit their all-time high last month, those who will be deciding which party controls Congress starting in 2023 aren't wooed by Biden's bragging about the economy.

Even though more than half — 56 percent — of Americans rate their local economy as "good," just 31 percent rate the national economy the same. Instead, 63 percent say the national economy is "bad," a view respondents show is based on the pain caused by inflation that's surged to highs not seen since the 1980s — and gone unmitigated by congressional Democrats and the White House. 

Sixty-six percent of Americans say inflation has been a "hardship" on their family, even while 51 percent say jobs have "increased" in the last year — a clear repudiation of the White House's attempt to use jobs that have been recovered since the pandemic hit as proof that the economy is booming and doing better than before. 


A majority of Americans say inflation, gas prices, product shortages, and — in another blow to the White House — they "don't trust the Biden administration" as reasons why they view the economy as "bad." More than two-thirds of Americans also reported cutting back on "entertainment/activities" and "trips/travel" as a result of economic woes that were first dismissed by the White House as "transitory." In addition, 64 percent say they've cut back on driving in order to save some money, while 53 percent say they're cutting back on "food/groceries."

In another blow to the effectiveness of the White House's messaging around gas prices, President Biden's talk of action to lower fuel costs appears to be just that — talk — in the minds of the American people. Sixty-five percent of Americans — and 67 percent of independents — say Biden "could do more" to lower gas prices but hasn't. 

Overall, the top five issues dominating Americans' concerns are all ones on which President Biden and Democrats in Congress have faltered: the economy, inflation, crime, Russia's war on Ukraine, and immigration. The fact that Americans' biggest worries are all losing issues for Biden explains the president's flagging favorability. More than six-in-ten Americans disapprove specifically of Biden's handling of crime, immigration, the economy, and inflation. CBS News' latest poll from the first week of April shows the president's approval at just 42 percent, down twenty points from March last year. 


The economic pain caused by Biden seems to be sticking in Americans' minds, there's another brewing issue that's reportedly sending the White House into more disarray than usual: the illegal immigration crisis and the Biden administration's decision to lift Title 42. 

According to CBS News' survey, more than half of the country — 52 percent — say the Biden administration "should be tougher" on those crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. 

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