Since April, U.S. President Joe Biden has experienced a decline in support, mainly from his fellow Democrats. His administration struggles with Congress to fulfill campaign promises, and more Americans worry about an uneven recovery.
According to a national opinion poll, Biden is still popular than his Republican predecessor Donald Trump. 55% approve of Biden’s performance as an officeholder and 65% support his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Four years ago, 36% of adults favored Trump’s job performance.
A growing number of Americans are disapproving of Biden’s leadership on the economy and gun violence as well as taxation. The biggest drop is in Biden’s Democratic Party, particularly those below 40, non-white Democrats or those without a college degree.
Nearly 25% of adults polled said that the economy is their top concern. According to the poll, the majority of Americans worry about rising living expenses. The public is nearly evenly divided over what the government should do.
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 percentage of Americans disapproving of Biden’s economic record grew 4 points to 43%.
Ryan Pougiales, a Democratic pollster, said that many people feel far from 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.”
According to the Reuters/Ipsos survey, only 35% believe the U.S. economy has headed in the right direction and 44% are concerned that prices will continue rising.
78% of Democrats said that they approve of Biden’s economic agenda. This is 7 points less than April. However, the number of Democrats who disagreed with Biden’s economic plan rose 6 percentage points to 15%.
This includes a 11-point decline in approval for Democrats under 40 and an 8-point decrease in approval for Democrats of minorities and Democrats without a college education.
The economy is expected to grow by 7% this year. However, statistics from the government show that post-pandemic job recovery has been slowest for those who are not of the racial or ethnic minorities and those with no 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.
Biden’s challenge will be to find solutions that work while maintaining his party, which includes many Democrats who favored U.S. candidates. Senator Bernie Sanders, and racial minorities as well as people with lower education.
“He’s in a delicate position with respect to the economy,” said Donald Green, a political scientist at Columbia University. “His coalition ranges from people in high tech sectors to suburban swing voters to more traditional Democrats. They all want different things from the economy.”
Meanwhile, the number of Americans who approved of Biden’s stance on gun violence dropped 8 points overall and 11 points among Democrats from April to June.
The eroding support for Biden coincides with Democrats struggling to pass major parts of his agenda in Congress.
They failed this month to generate enough support for federal voting rights legislation, and the future of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan is still in flux after months of negotiations with Republicans.
Biden also faces growing impatience from gun safety activists who want the president to make good on a series of campaign promises to stem an “epidemic” of gun violence.
He pledged this month to go after illegal gun dealers and boost federal funding and support for local law enforcement as homicide rates have spiked in large cities.
Elaine Kamarck is a Brookings Institution senior fellow. She said that many Americans are still focused on the coronavirus. This area is where Biden continues to be strong.
Kamarck stated that as the pandemic subsides, the economy will continue its recovery, which would be a win-win for Biden.
She stated, “Right now the dynamic is: You handle the virus and you manage the economy.”