Majority disapproves of Biden's handling of economic issues – poll
Inflation and the economy will be “extremely important” in determining voters' pick in the November midterm elections for more than half (51%) of Americans, according to a poll released on Sunday by ABC News and Ipsos.
Conducted last week, the poll indicated a whopping 71% of respondents were unsatisfied with US President Joe Biden’s efforts to curb inflation and even more – 72% – displeased with his attempts to bring down gas prices.
Economic issues – inflation, gas prices, and taxes – were the only issues aside from gun violence that more than 90% of respondents ranked as important in November’s election. Inflation was number one, with 21% of respondents listing it as their top issue, while the more general “the economy” came in second.
Respondents also reported low levels of satisfaction regarding Biden’s handling of the post-Covid-19 economic recovery. 61% fully disapproved – an almost total reversal from March 2021, when 60% had approved of the newly-inaugurated president's work. Similarly, 61% disapproved of his handling of crime, barely budging from last year, while 64% condemned his handling of gun violence – a figure that increased seven points since March 2021 amid the recent flurry of mass shootings.
Even the president's performance regarding the situation with Russia and Ukraine, a conflict Biden has poured tens of billions of dollars into over the last four months, failed to win over a majority of voters, with 52% reporting they disapproved of his work on the issue. Nor could Biden win much support with climate change – 55% disapproved of his work there.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg attempted to do damage control in media appearances over the weekend, insisting on Sunday that the Biden administration was doing everything it could to control soaring gas prices, which set yet another record on Sunday.
Biden has “made clear inflation is his top economic priority, and he's laid out a very clear strategy for doing that,” Buttigieg claimed, adding that “the price of gasoline is not set by a dial in the Oval Office.”
Biden’s approval ratings have cratered since he took office in January 2021, spurred by near-record inflation and other economic issues. His approval levels reached a nadir last month with just 36% of poll respondents viewing his presidency favorably, and even approval levels among his own party seem to be slipping.
A recent survey among black voters – traditionally a rock-solid constituency for the Democratic Party – found a shocking 20-point drop in the number of voters who approved of his job performance since taking office. As of last month, only 16% of voters said they believed the US was headed in the right direction, with 75% stating it was headed in the wrong direction, according to an NBC News poll.