Politics

Biden Approval Hits New Low At One-Year Mark: AP-NORC Poll

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President Joe Biden ends his first year in the White House with a clear majority of Americans for the first time disapproving of his handling of the presidency in the face of an unrelenting pandemic and roaring inflation, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

More Americans disapprove than approve of how Biden is handling his job as president, 56% to 43%. As of now, just 28% of Americans say they want Biden to run for reelection in 2024, including only 48% of Democrats.

Asked on Wednesday at a wide-ranging news conference about his flagging popularity, Biden responded, “I don’t believe the polls.”

In July, 59% of Americans said they approved of Biden’s job performance in an AP-NORC poll. His approval rating dipped to 50% by late September in the aftermath of the chaotic and bloody U. S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan and amid surging coronavirus infections and the administration’s fitful efforts to push economic, infrastructure and tax policies through Congress.

The latest poll shows that Americans’ confidence in Biden’s handling of the pandemic — seen as a strength early in his administration — has further eroded as the omicron variant strains the health care system and further exhausts an American electorate that had hoped life would be back to a semblance of normalcy by now.

Just 45% say they approve of Biden’s handling of COVID-19, down from 57% in December and from 66% in July 2021.

Americans are even more downbeat about his handling of the economy, with just 37% approving. Growing angst about his economic policies comes as inflation rose at its fastest pace in nearly 40 years last month, a 7% spike from a year earlier that is increasing household expenses and eating into wage gains.

Joyce Bowen, 61, of Knoxville, Tennessee, said Biden deserves credit for encouraging Americans to get vaccinated, but she expressed frustration about the administration’s response to soaring inflation.

The part-time cleaner at a public library said she and her older brother, who she helps support, have been eating less meat to offset rising grocery costs and intermittent spikes at the gas pump that have whittled the purchasing power of her $754 biweekly paycheck.

“It’s just hard to keep food on the table and gas in the tank,” said Bowen, who voted for Biden but said she’d prefer he didn’t run again in 2024.

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Only about a quarter were very confident that Biden “has the mental capability to serve effectively as president” or “is healthy enough to serve effectively as president.” Close to half are not confident in Biden’s mental capability or health.

Asked by a reporter at Wednesday’s news conference about other polling that shows a significant percentage of Americans had concerns about Biden’s mental health, the president shrugged off those findings.

Gary Cameron, 66, of Midwest City, Oklahoma, said the president’s verbal gaffes and age — at 79 Biden is the oldest U. S. president in history — don’t give him confidence that Biden has the skill or energy to pull the country out of its malaise.

“Whenever he does a speech on television, in your mind, you’re thinking ‘God, is this guy even going to get through this this speech?’” said Cameron, an independent who voted for Donald Trump in 2020.

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Other respondents said that Biden’s age — and life experience that’s come with it — has proven to be an asset.

Nicole Jensen-Oost, 79, of Plano, Texas, said that Biden has demonstrated leadership and empathy through the pandemic by speaking of his own personal grief.

Biden frequently raises the deaths of his first wife and a daughter in a 1972 car crash as well as the loss of an adult son who died of cancer as he has sought to reassure Americans who have lost loved ones to the virus.

“This man has heart,” said Jensen-Oost, a Democra… (Read more)

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