Politics explained

Joe Biden has one extra reason to worry about his approval ratings

Joe Biden has plenty on his plate at the moment – from warning Vladimir Putin of the consequences of invading Ukraine, to dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated economic difficulties. And on the horizon? The midterm elections.

Much has been made of Biden’s presidential approval ratings in recent weeks, averaging under 41 per cent compared to nearly 54 per cent who disapprove. It has made an interesting choice for those running in the congressional elections: whether they flag Biden’s work or not? (Not unlike the recent UK party political broadcast from the Conservatives that made little reference to prime minister Boris Johnson, preferring to frame things such as the vaccination programme as wins).

To that end, there are some things to note if you look a little closer at some of those recent polls. Take for example a recent CNN national survey. In it, as with many other polls, Biden’s approval rating is split between those who approve or disapprove “strongly” or just “moderately”. Just 15 per cent in the CNN survey say they “strongly” approve of the job he is doing, while 41 per cent “strongly” disapprove. When you break it down by party, the picture becomes clearer. While 36 per cent of Democrats strongly approve of the job Biden is doing, 76 per cent of Republicans strongly disapprove of his performance.


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