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26 Oct, 2023 19:02

Biden approval among Democrats drops to lowest point of presidency

The US president’s party is split over his steadfast support for Israel
Biden approval among Democrats drops to lowest point of presidency

US President Joe Biden’s approval rating among members of his party has fallen by 11 percentage points to the lowest score of his presidency thus far, according to a Gallup poll published on Thursday. While Democrats usually give Biden near-unanimously good ratings, the party has recently experienced some inner strife over the president’s Israel policy.

The survey found that 75% of registered Democrats approve of the job Biden is doing, down from 86% last month.

In the same period, Biden’s approval among independents fell four points from 39% to 35%, while his approval among Republicans remained unchanged at 5%. Biden’s overall approval rating now stands at 37%, down from 41% last month and tied with the lowest score of his presidency, recorded in April of this year.

Presiding over an economy wracked by high inflation and soaring energy prices, and hammered by his opponents over record levels of illegal immigration and his handling of the conflict in Ukraine, Biden’s approval rating has remained persistently low throughout the three years ha has been in office.

Gallup recorded a 57% approval high in January 2021, while an aggregate of five major polls compiled by FiveThirtyEight recorded a peak of 55.3% in March of that year.

Biden entered the White House with an approval rating of 98% among Democrats in January 2021. That number has remained above 80% for all but three months of his term, while Republicans’ approval of the president has not risen above single digits since Biden oversaw a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021.

The latest drop in approval among Democrats comes amid a growing division in the party over Biden’s support for Israel. Amid the ongoing Israeli bombardment of Gaza, Biden visited Israel earlier this month to pledge that the US would “stand forever” with the Jewish state and that he would push Congress to authorize $14 billion in military aid for the country.

Back in Washington, Democratic lawmakers from the party’s progressive wing have been the sole voices of dissent against this policy on Capitol Hill. Speaking at a thousands-strong pro-Palestinian rally last week, ethnically Palestinian Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib declared: “President Biden, not all of America is with you on this one, and you need to wake up and understand that. We are literally watching people commit genocide.”

As Tlaib spoke, progressive Jewish groups staged a sit-down protest inside the Capitol condemning “the Israeli government’s ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians” and demanding that Biden push Israel into declaring a ceasefire. 

Tlaib and eight other progressive House Democrats voted against a resolution condemning Palestinian militant group Hamas on Wednesday, while six other Democrats voted ‘present’ and five abstained from voting. Every other Democrat and every Republican bar one voted in favor of the resolution, which passed by 412 votes to 10.