Biden's approval rating up but struggling on key issues, new poll finds

David Williams
·3 min read

WASHINGTON — A new poll commissioned by a super PAC aligned with President Joe Biden finds the president's overall approval has improved in three battleground states, but voters say he isn't handling certain issues like the economy and jobs well.

The survey from Unite the Country, provided exclusively to NBC News, found that among 1,500 likely voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Biden's approval rating has slightly ticked up from 42% in May to 45% in September.

The favorability rating in those states for former President Donald Trump declined from 44% in May to 39% in September.

More than half, 56%, said they approve of Biden's handling of the Covid response, and 50% approve of his handling of the war in Ukraine, while voters were evenly split over his handling of abortion and reproductive rights.

The poll found 54% said they disapprove of Biden's handling of the economy and jobs, 51% disapprove of his handling of health care, and 57% disapprove of how he has handled crime and public safety. At least 60% of respondents in the three battleground states said they disliked how Biden has handled immigration, inflation and the national debt.

Unite the Country pointed favorably to how voters feel about certain legislative wins for the Biden administration. The poll found, for example, that 82% said it was very or somewhat important for the president to sign legislation allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug costs. Nearly 80% said that they think his actions to address crime and support police have been important and that his work to revamp the country's infrastructure is important.

"While the environment has improved significantly over the last 7 months for Democrats, the reality is neither side has closed the deal," the group said in a statement. "As we have seen in past midterm cycles, these events can break late, and no single Democrat should rest for a second between now and November."

The PAC said it will "continue to educate voters in swing states about the successes of the Biden administration."

Asked how voters planned to vote for the Senate in November, an average of 52% in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin said they would vote for the Democratic candidate, and 48% said they planned to vote for the Republican. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents, with the Cook Political Report rating the Wisconsin race as a toss-up and the race for Pennsylvania's open Senate seat as leaning Democratic.

Asked how they planned to vote for congressional candidates in their districts, 50% of likely voters said they planned to vote for the Democrat, while 47% said they would vote for the Republican. Some of the most competitive races in this general election cycle — which could determine which party holds the majority in the House for the next two years — are congressional races for House seats in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

The poll, which surveyed 500 likely voters in each battleground state from Sept. 14 to 19, reported a margin of sampling error of 2.5% at a 95% confidence interval.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com