Joe Biden's approval ratings slump as inflation soars

US president faces rocky road leading into crucial November midterm elections

Deepening pessimism about the economy has led Mr Biden's polling numbers to plummet. AP
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As US President Joe Biden prepares for his trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel next week, his approval ratings at home are going from bad to worse.

In recent polls, Americans of all political stripes say they are unhappy with the Democratic leader and rate him harshly on his handling of the economy and the direction of the country.

Mr Biden, 79, has had few recent legislative wins and is facing a trifecta of bad news when it comes to the economy.

Petrol prices and inflation are soaring, stock prices are slumping and it's getting more expensive to borrow money as interest rates jump.

The negative headlines have drowned out any good news on the economic front. Even though unemployment sits at only 3.6 per cent, Americans are fretting about the risk of a looming recession.

The latest Monmouth University Poll, released on Tuesday, describes how only 36 per cent of Americans approve of the job Mr Biden is doing, while 58 per cent disapprove.

The graph below shows Mr Biden's approval rating over time, according to a compilation of polls by FiveThirtyEight.

He is now performing worse than Donald Trump did at this point in his presidency.

The president has not had a majority of Americans approve of his job performance for a year.

The last time they did, 48 per cent of those polled approved and 44 per cent disapproved, Monmouth said.

Just as worrying for Mr Biden is that only 10 per cent of Americans say the country is headed in the right direction, while 88 per cent say it is on the wrong track, the survey found.

“The state of the economy has Americans in a foul mood. They are not happy with Washington," said Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray.

Mr Murray said in the survey that inflation was the biggest concern facing Americans today.

With midterm elections coming up in November, Mr Biden's ratings augur badly for him and his Democratic Party.

His support even among Democrats has dropped. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found 72 per cent of Democrats approved of his overall performance, down from about 85 per cent in August 2021.

The Republicans are considered almost certain to seize control of the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate, even as a conservative Supreme Court issues far-reaching rulings that are unpopular among most Americans.

Mr Biden is visiting Israel and Saudi Arabia from July 13 to 16.

While in Jeddah, he is expected to say that all Gulf states should be raising oil production as he tries to rein in petrol prices that have soared since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Updated: July 07, 2022, 3:57 AM
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