- Biden’s 44% approval rating is up six points from July’s record low
- Rise in job approval rating largely driven by freelancers
- Biden’s pandemic response is only number 11 with majority approval
WASHINGTON, DC — After hitting a record high in July, President Joe Biden’s Jobs approval rating rose six percentage points to 44%, its highest level in a year. While the rise represents a significant improvement after several political successes for Biden, he remains broadly underwater, with 53% of Americans disapproving of his professional performance.
Biden’s job rating boost is widely backed by political independents, whose approval has fallen from 31% last month to 40% currently. Democrats (81%) and Republicans (4%) ratings on Biden have not changed significantly over the same period.
These results come from a Gallup poll from Aug. 1-23, which spanned a turbulent time under Biden’s presidency. While recovering from COVID-19, the president announced that the United States had killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri. In the days that followed, congressional Democrats passed Biden’s sweeping domestic spending plan, the Cut Inflation Act, a health care, climate and tax package.
Although fears of high inflation and recession continue to plague the country, there has been some positive economic news recently with average gasoline prices falling below $4 a gallon, a jobs report better than expected and a slight drop in the inflation rate. The poll was completed just before Biden announced his student loan forgiveness plan that would reduce the debt of millions of Americans.
Biden ranked best for handling COVID-19 response, environment
Out of 11 questions asked, Biden is rated highest for his handling of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the only question that receives the approval of the majority (58%), including 88% Democrats, 58% independents and 20% Republicans. Biden’s approval of environmental management is at 50% and is the only other issue with majority-level approval from independents. Democrats’ ratings on Biden’s handling of the other nine issues range from 63% to 78%.
Between 41% and 46% of American adults approve of the president’s handling of education, the situation in Ukraine, energy policy and foreign affairs. Fewer, 31% to 39% of Americans, approve of Biden’s handling of Russia relations, immigration, gun policy, abortion policy and the economy, with his economy the lowest .
Gallup last measured Biden’s approval ratings on six of those issues in March. Support for his handling of pandemic response, environment and energy policy has each risen five points since then, while falling five points for the economy. Biden’s ratings on foreign affairs and relations with Russia are statistically unchanged from the March readings.
Historical Background to Presidential Approval Ratings
The latest improvement in Biden’s overall approval rating puts him in a better position in August ahead of the midterm elections than five of his predecessors in the past 40 years – Ronald Reagan in 1982, Bill Clinton in 1994, George W Bush in 2006, Barack Obama in 2014 and Donald Trump in 2018.
However, Biden’s August job rating is dwarfed by readings of 61% to 75% for Reagan in 1986, George HW Bush in 1990, Clinton in 1998 and George W. Bush in 2002.
Biden, whose approval rating was plummeting before August, appears to be benefiting from recent wins as well as a slightly improved economy. A Gallup analysis of major election indicators in June suggested the US political environment was particularly unfavorable to Democrats. Biden’s job approval remains below the 50% mark, which usually means a tough midterm election year for the incumbent president’s party – but if Biden can maintain that momentum, it could have an impact positive about the Democrats’ chances in Congress in November.
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