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Tipsheet

Why Biden’s Latest Approval Numbers Should Have Him More Worried Than Usual

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden, who — along with his prospective 2024 campaign team — was hoping to leave crises and bad poll numbers behind in the first half of his term, has again dropped in Gallup's job approval polling for March.

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Not only does Biden remain underwater — just 40 percent of Americans approve of his overall performance as president while 56 percent disapprove of the job Biden's done and four percent have "no opinion" — but his failure to respond and handle a long list of crises have turned Americans against his administration on a range of key issues.

The latest update to Biden's poll numbers show he is also underwater when it comes to Americans' approval of some policy areas the president made central to his first term — and then subsequently failed to address in way that made a positive difference. 

Just 38 percent of Americans approve of Biden's handling of foreign affairs, 43 percent approve of Biden's handling of environmental issues, 38 percent approve of his energy policy, and only 32 percent approve of his economic policies.

So much for saving the planet, restoring America's relationships with other countries, and building back better — all things Biden said would come if Americans put "adults" in charge. Instead of delivering results, Biden has failed. And Americans know as much.

Gallup noted that March's approval poll putting the president at just 40 percent — down two percent from last month — is Biden's "sixth consecutive reading in the 40% to 42% range." Biden has not polled above 44 percent since the summer of 2021.

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At the granular partisan level, the usual number of Democrats approve of the job Biden's doing (87 percent) while the president's approval among Republicans (three percent) continues to crater. 

The fact that nearly nine-in-ten Democrats still approve of Biden is good news for the president as he considers whether to run for a second term in 2024 amid growing concerns from some in Biden's party that he should step aside. 

But among independents, Biden faces a serious challenge. According to Gallup's tracking, 61 percent approved of Biden when he first took office, and his approval among independents remained above water for the first sixth months of his time in office. 

By September 2021, however, Biden's approval slipped underwater to 40 percent and hasn't surpassed that level since. In Gallup's latest data, just 35 percent of independents say they approve of Biden.

On the issues, just 26 percent of independents approve of Biden's handling of the economy, 39 percent say they approve of his energy policy, 34 percent approve of his handling of foreign affairs, and 41 percent approve of his environmental policy.

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Gallup's analysis of the latest approval numbers cites the fact that "Biden continues to face challenges at home and abroad" while "[i]nflation remains stubbornly high, the banking crisis has further complicated the economic climate, and tensions with Russia, China and now Iran are high." 

All that swirling around the White House means Biden's "overall approval rating has remained steady at the same level since September" in Gallup's tracking, while "his ratings on the economy and foreign affairs are weak."


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