The Facts

A majority of Americans now disapprove of President Joe Biden’s job performance, while half give him low marks for competence and uniting the country, according to results from the latest national NBC News poll.

What’s more, the survey finds that 7 in 10 adults, including almost half of Democrats, believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction, as well as nearly 60 per cent who view Biden’s stewardship of the economy negatively just nine months into his presidency.

Why Has Biden's Approval Rating Gotten So Low So Quickly? | FiveThirtyEight
Why Has Biden’s Approval Rating Gotten So Low So Quickly? | FiveThirtyEight

“Democrats face a country whose opinion of President Biden has turned sharply to the negative since April,” said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies.

“The promise of the Biden presidency — knowledge, competence and stability in tough times — have all been called into question,” Horwitt continued.

“What people voted for was stability and calm,” added fellow Democratic pollster Peter Hart. “And what they got was instability and chaos.”

President Joe Biden’s popularity has slumped after a slew of challenges at home and abroad in recent weeks.

71 percent say nation is on wrong track

Also in the NBC News poll, 71% of Americans say they believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, up 8 points since August. That includes 93% of Republicans, 70 independents and even 48% of Democrats.

“When you see a wrong track of 71%, it is a flashing red light,” said McInturff, the GOP pollster. “These folks are telling us that this is not going well.” Asked about the country’s future, just 41% of respondents in the poll say America’s best years are ahead, while 53% say its best years are behind.

Despite that pessimism, however, the survey does show signs of optimism about the coronavirus and the economy. A majority of respondents — 56 per cent — believe the worst is past when it comes to the coronavirus, which is up 18 points from August when the delta variant was beginning to surge across the country.

And 30% of Americans say they’re getting ahead when it comes to their financial situation, while 45% say they’re staying where they are. That’s compared with 24% who say they’re slipping behind or falling backward.

Let’s take a deeper look at why this might be happening.

To put it plainly, President Joe Biden is not utilizing his advantages well and is also disregarding what Americans want. Biden came into this presidency fairly popular and at a considerable advantage (Democrats controlled the House, and the Senate was tied with his Vice President possibly deciding the vote). However, his presidency makes him look useless and ineffective. Sadly, Biden has done nothing remarkable during his first year, and Americans are unimpressed.

One of the major problems that plagued Biden was not taking full advantage of Congress. The Democrats held the majority in the House and an even split in the Senate. If ever there was a time to push forward an agenda, it should be now. Instead, Biden is wasting time trying to cater to Republican politicians who disagreed with him being in office while isolating Progressive Democrats who could push forward his agenda.

Moreover, the bills Congress proposed on Biden’s behalf have nothing to do with vital American issues. For example, the infrastructure bill that recently passed the Senate for 1.4 trillion dollars was not a priority for Americans. Only 27% of Americans placed infrastructure as one of their top priorities. In addition to the new infrastructure bill, Biden wants to combat climate change with the “Build Back Better” plan, another piece of legislation Democrats are trying to pass through Congress. The problem with this is 35% of voters have expressed this as an essential concern of theirs.

In short, Biden is worried about the wrong issues that genuinely concern Americans. It feels as though Biden is isolating the main groups that helped elect him into office by not touching on the core issues. They care about Student Loan Forgiveness programs, economic and job security, programs that can progress the community, and other social problems that Biden has yet to touch. Although Biden still has time to turn things in his favour, one thing is clear: a change needs to happen before he suffers the same fate as his predecessor.

Biden says he doesn’t care

It’s important to note that President Biden said that he was not concerned about his low approval rating while speaking at the G20 Summit in Rome on Sunday, hours after an NBC poll reported that only 42% of registered voters approve of his performance in office, one of the lowest ratings since his presidency began. He may right not to pay too much attention to these polls “The polls are going to go up and down and down. They were high early and then they went medium and then they went back up and now they’re low. Look at every other president, the same thing has happened,” Biden told reporters.

I looked into this and he is right in this assertion. 37.8% was former President Trump’s approval rating at this time during his presidency. President Obama’s was 51.9%. Like Biden, both presidents suffered steady declines from the time they took office to this point.

On this occasion, two key factors seem to be contributing to Biden’s approval ratings. One is his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and two is his new environmental and social framework he hopes to pass. The federal vaccine mandate Biden signed in September has been largely effective, though controversial. Federal contractors like airlines and colleges have been met with some outcry from employees who refuse to get the highly-politicized vaccine.

Last Friday, attorney generals from 10 states sued the Biden administration over the mandates. Last Thursday the president announced a slimmed-down version of his social and environmental policy framework, a spending package that originally cost $3.5 trillion and included several progressive programs. After months of negotiations, the framework is now budgeted at $1.5 trillion. Initiatives like paid medical and family leave, and two years of tuition-free community college were cut from the framework. 

By all assessments, this appears to be a bump in the road and not the silver bullet some commentators are asserting

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CheVaughn Starling is a politics contributor on scribe. Hailing all the way from the United States. Born in the Chicagoland area, Illinois (USA), and moved to Springfield, IL in 2011 to embark her new journey in life: college. She completed her undergrad and graduate degree at the University of Illinois Springfield in Political Science and Legal Studies with an emphasis on Public Policy. Her love for politics and history led her to aspire a career as a political analyst. Her specialty is in US politics and analyzing different policies from both sides of view. She hopes one day to complete her JD and PHD so she can help implement policy and change in the US.

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Mike Omoniyi is the Founder and Editor In Chief of The Common Sense Network. He oversees and is responsible for the direction of the Network. Mike is an activist, singer/songwriter and keen athlete. With a degree in Politics Philosophy and Economics, MA in Political Science (Democracy and Elections) and an incoming PhD on a study of Cyber-Balkanisation, Mike is passionate about politics and the study of argumentation. He is also the Managing Director of a number of organisations including, Our God Given Mission, The BAM Project and The Apex Group.

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