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More than half of Americans disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of his responsibilities in a new Pew Research Group survey published on Tuesday that found Mr Biden’s approval rating slipping further underwater.
Just above four in 10 Americans, 41 per cent, gave Mr Biden positive marks in the poll while 56 per cent say the president is not doing a good job; his approval rating dropped by the same amount, 3 percentage points, by which his disapproval rating rose over the four months between the last survey released by Pew and January 25.
Corresponding with that shift in Mr Biden’s popularity is a larger drop in support among Black voters, from 67 per cent to 60 per cent, in the same time period. Since the last survey was released in September, the Democratic Party has seen the president’s signature social safety net bill, the Build Back Better Act, fail in Congress as did a push to change the filibuster as a means of making the passage of voter rights legislation possible.
The failure of the voting rights push, which was aimed at combatting a slew of GOP-led bills in states around the country seen as clear attempts to disenfranchise Black voters and other constituencies that lean Democratic, was one of the most glaring failures of the Biden presidency so far and leaves open the question of whether any more significant legislation will pass the Senate before the midterms in November.
The prospect of congressional inaction defining the spring and summer only places more urgency on the White House to find avenues for policy victories, be it through executive actions, more effective work to unify the Democratic congressional caucuses, or even negotiations with Republicans.
Overall, the Pew survey reveals an American public deeply dissatisfied with its leadership and their prospects for the future.
According to the poll just about a fifth of Americans believe the country is headed in the right direction and less than a third said the US economy was in good shape. Among numerous findings of voters’ dismal outlooks, one of the few bright spots was the wide agreement by 56 per cent of respondents that it is easier to get a job than it was a year ago.
Congress remains deeply unpopular and though Democrats were more likely than Republicans to give lawmakers a passing grade, the number of Democrats who approved of the jobs done by the legislative branch’s membership was still far less than 50 per cent, hovering just above one-third.
The Pew survey was taken between 10-17 Jan and collected responses from 5,128 Americans. The margin of error is 2 percentage points.