It’s a new year, but President Biden is still facing the same old deficit when it comes to his standing among Americans.
The president’s approval rating stands at 40% approval and 54% disapproval in a USA Today/Suffolk University national poll released on Tuesday.
An average of all the most recent national surveys that measured Biden’s standing compiled by Real Clear Politics put the president’s approval at 42% and his disapproval at 54%. A similar compilation by FiveThirtyEight indicated Biden at 43%-52%.
While the president’s numbers are still underwater in the new poll, it’s a slight improvement from the previous USA Today/Suffolk University poll, when Biden stood at 38%-59%. That survey was conducted in early November, days after strong performances by Republicans in the Virginia and New Jersey statewide and legislative elections.
President Biden speaks during a virtual meeting about reducing the costs of meat through increased competition in the meat processing industry in the South Court Auditorium at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 3, 2022 in Washington.
( Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
“At the very least, it appears the strong disapproval number has rotated to undecided,” the survey’s pollster, David Paleologos, told Fox News.
“This is really a movement from the abyss to darkness, it’s not a move into sunlight yet for Democrats. But it’s a movement out of a dire situation and could make Democrats competitive,” Paleologos, the Suffolk University Political Research Center director, added.
Biden’s approval rating hovered in the low to mid 50s during his first six months in the White House. But the president’s numbers started sagging in August in the wake of Biden’s much criticized handling of the turbulent U.S. exit from Afghanistan and following a surge in COVID-19 cases this summer among mainly unvaccinated people.
The plunge in the president’s approval was also fueled by the surge since the summer in consumer prices and to a lesser degree the surge this year of migrants trying to cross into the U.S. along the southern border with Mexico.
The presidential approval rating has also long been a much-watched indicator ahead of the midterm elections, and Biden’s flagging numbers could spell major trouble for the Democrats as they try to hold on to their razor-thin majorities in the House and Senate in the 2022 elections.
The USA Today/Suffolk University poll, which was conducted Dec. 27-30, puts the Democrats at 39% and the Republicans at 37% in the generic ballot question. The generic ballot, a closely watched barometer ahead of midterm elections, asks whether a respondent would vote for an unnamed Democrat or Republican candidate in their congressional district.
Paul Steinhauser is a politics reporter based in New Hampshire.