As President Joe Biden embarks on his reelection campaign, just 33% of American adults say they approve of his handling of the economy and only 24% say national economic conditions are in good shape, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Public approval of Biden’s handling of the economy remains low in a time of high inflation, a difficult housing market and concerns about a potential U.S. government debt default. American opinion is also gloomy about Biden’s efforts on gun policy and immigration, with only 31% saying they approve of the president’s performance on those hot button issues. Overall, 40% say they approve of the way Biden is doing his job, similar to where his approval rating has stood for much of the past year and a half.
Zoie Mosqueda, 24, who does not identify with any political party, said her family is ready to buy their first home but with the average mortgage interest rate hovering around 6.9%, that goal, at least for now, is out of reach.
The woman from West Texas said she also has been frustrated with Biden’s handling of gun policy and said he’s fallen short on his campaign promise to implement a fairer immigration policy.
A recent spate of mass shootings around the country, including this month’s shooting at an Allen, Texas mall that left eight victims dead and seven others wounded, has left her wishing that Biden and lawmakers in Washington would do more to address the scourge of gun violence.
Even among Democrats, the poll finds only about half approve of his handling of immigration and gun policy.
“Everything feels a bit crazy right now in this economy,” Mosqueda, a mother of two who works at a boutique and is looking to open her own business, said in explaining her disapproval of Biden’s performance. “My older daughter is in school now, and I just worry that this lack of gun policy stuff could affect her.”
Biden returned late Sunday from a visit to Hiroshima, Japan, for the annual G7 summit where the global economic impact of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine was front-and-center.
The summit was shadowed by the Biden administration’s negotiations with Republican lawmakers to raise the U.S. borrowing authority to prevent a default in early June that could have severe impact on the global economy. Before departing for Japan, Biden canceled scheduled stops in Papua New Guinea and Australia so he could return to the U.S. to focus on the debt limit talks.
“It would be a total catastrophe for the country if they don’t agree to do something,” said Bob Vought, a retired auto parts warehouse manager in St. Petersburg, Florida. He said he strongly disapproves of Biden’s handling of the economy.
Vought, who lives on his Social Security benefit, said inflation is taking a toll on his personal finances.
The Biden administration oversaw two of the bigger Social Security cost-of-living adjustment in recent decades, with a 5.9% increase that took effect in 2022 and 8.7% in 2023. But Vought said that’s not enough to keep up with a rental increase at the trailer park where he lives with his father and the rising costs of food and other basic necessities.
Vought, an independent who typically votes Republican but voted for Biden in 2020, said he’s also been frustrated by the “out of control” rise in illegal crossings by migrants at the U.S. southern border.
In the 2022 budget year, which ended in September, agents apprehended immigrants a record 2.38 million times at the southern border.