President Joe Biden’s approval rating slid back near February’s low point as inflation-related stress on household finances intensified, the May IBD/TIPP Poll finds.
Biden’s approval rating sank 4.1 points to 45.4 over the past month as his standing among independents continued to deteriorate. The IBD/TIPP presidential job approval measure indicates that 45.4% of adults surveyed approve of Biden’s job performance and 54.6% disapprove, excluding those who were unsure or declined to state an opinion.
Including the full survey group, 39% of American adults approve how Biden is handling the presidency, and 47% disapprove. The April IBD/TIPP Poll had found Biden’s approval improving to 42%-43%. The low point for Biden’s approval, 38%-48%, came in February.
Biden Approval Rating Details
Among Democrats, approval of Biden’s job performance was unchanged at 76%-12%, well above February’s 66%-21% nadir. However, Biden’s standing among independents continued to deteriorate. In May, disapproval grew to 58%-27% vs. 51%-29% in April, 53%-27% in March and 55%-27% in February.
Republicans disapprove 84%-9% vs. 81%-12% in April and 87%-8% in March.
Biden’s approval rating hit bottom in February after his agenda suffered a string of defeats. With inflation concerns crowding out support for new government spending, moderate West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s opposition buried Biden’s Build Back Better social spending and climate plan. Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema teamed to block a change of filibuster rules, which doomed Biden’s push for voting rights legislation. Blocked by the Supreme Court as executive branch overreach, Biden’s vaccine mandate only succeeded in fomenting political outrage.
Biden got only a tiny bounce from his March 1 State of the Union address, despite bipartisan support for helping Ukraine to defend itself against the Russian invasion.
However, Biden may have gotten a lift among Democrats for his nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to serve as Supreme Court Justice. She earned Senate confirmation on April 7.
Approval Of President Biden’s Policies
Approval of Biden’s economic policies returned to February’s low point, while plumbing new depths among independents. Now 47% of adults disapprove of Biden’s economic policies and 29% approve, vs. 44%-33% in April and 47%-32% in March. Independents disapprove by a 58%-15% margin.
All signs point to inflation as a major source of Biden’s poor reviews. U.S. employers added 8.3 million jobs in the first 15 months of Biden’s presidency, including 428,000 last month. Meanwhile, the average hourly wage has grown a strong 5.5% over the past year. Yet inflation has eaten away all of that increase and more for many Americans.
The IBD/TIPP Poll finds that just 18% of adults say their wages have kept pace with inflation, while 51% say they haven’t kept pace. Meanwhile, 89% of Americans are concerned about the path of inflation over the next 12 months.
The IBD/TIPP Financial-Related Stress Index rose 1.4 points to 69.3% in May. That’s just below April 2020’s 69.8 record in polling back to December 2007. Readings above 50 mean financial stress is rising.
Approval of Biden’s handling of the pandemic narrowed to 42%-35% in May, from 46%-33% in April and 43%-36% in March. In February, Americans narrowly disapproved 40%-37%. Covid remains under control and most restrictions have lapsed. In April, a federal judge threw out CDC’s mask mandate for public transportation.
Biden Gets Negative Marks on Russia-Ukraine Crisis
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has presented Biden with the kind of foreign policy crisis that can sometimes build national unity on the homefront. However, the conflict’s effect of adding a risk premium to oil prices has exacerbated one of Biden’s biggest problems.
The May IBD/TIPP Poll finds American adults disapprove of Biden’s handling of the Russia-Ukraine conflict 42%-34%, unchanged from April.
The poor opinion appears tied to broader concerns over gas prices and inflation, and Biden’s perceived culpability.
In assigning fault for the recent increase in gas prices, 40% saw Biden’s policies as deserving “a great deal” of blame, more than the Russia-Ukraine situation (36%) and oil companies (38%). Including those assigning “some” share of the blame, 64% fault Biden.
Investors Still Back Biden
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