Democrats Support for Biden drops as U.S. looks past pandemic

U.S. President Joe Biden has seen an erosion in support since April, mainly from fellow Democrats, as his administration wrestles with Congress to make good on campaign promises and more Americans worry about an uneven economic recovery, Reuters/Ipsos polling shows.

A June 11-17 national opinion poll shows Biden is still more popular than his Republican predecessor Donald Trump ever was: 55% of adults approve of Biden’s performance in office and 65% like his response to the coronavirus pandemic. At this point four years ago, about 36% of adults approved of Trump’s job performance.

However, a growing number of Americans disapprove of Biden’s leadership on the economy, gun violence and taxation, with the biggest decline coming within Biden’s Democratic Party, especially those under the age of 40, non-white Democrats or those who do not have a college degree.

The economy has replaced healthcare and disease as a top concern, with nearly a quarter of adults who were polled calling it the most important problem. A majority of Americans are worried about rising living costs, and the public is almost evenly split over how much the government should do to make things better, according to the poll.

Forty-eight percent of respondents said they approved of Biden’s handling of the economy, which is down 4 points from a similar survey that ran in April. The number of Americans who disapproved of Biden’s economic record rose 4 points to 43%.

Democratic pollster Ryan Pougiales said a lot of people still feel like they are far from back to normal.

“There’s a huge impatience” with the economy, Pougiales said. “Everyone’s been bottled up in their homes. Many have lost their jobs or lost loved ones.”

Just 35% of the country thinks the U.S. economy is headed in the right direction, and 44% say they are “very concerned” that prices will keep rising, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Among Democrats, 78% said they approved of Biden’s economic agenda, down 7 points from April, while the number of Democrats who disapproved of his economic plan rose 6 points to 15%. That includes an 11-point drop in approval among Democrats under 40 years old, an 8-point drop in approval among minority Democrats and Democrats without a college degree.

Despite an expected 7% growth in the economy this year, government statistics show the post-pandemic jobs recovery has been lagging most among racial and ethnic minorities and those without a college education.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment within the Black community was 9.1% as of May, for example, compared to 5.1% for whites. Unemployment for college degree holders was 3.2% in May, less than half the 6.8% unemployment rate for those with only a high school diploma.


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