President Joe Biden’s approval rating has continued to surface after plunging to deeply unpopular levels early this year, the April IBD/TIPP Poll finds. But the recovery has been one-dimensional — almost entirely among Democrats — as rampant inflation causes widespread financial stress among American households.
Biden’s approval rating rose 4.3 points to 49.5 over the past month, after slumping to the lowest point of his presidency in February. The IBD/TIPP presidential job approval measure indicates that 49.5% of adults surveyed approve of Biden’s job performance and 50.5% disapprove, excluding those who were unsure or declined to state an opinion.
Including the full survey group, 42% of American adults approve how Biden is handling the presidency, and 43% disapprove. The March IBD/TIPP Poll had found Biden’s approval improving only slightly to 39% and 47%, respectively, after his State of the Union address, vs. his low point of 38%-48% in February.
Biden Approval Rating Details
The recovery of Biden’s approval rating has come principally among Democrats, who now back his job performance 76%-12%. That compares to 74%-15% in March and 66%-21% in February. However, independents continued to disapprove of Biden’s job performance by a lopsided margin: 51%-29% in April, vs. 53%-27% and 55%-27% the prior two months. Republicans disapprove 81% to 12%, a modest bounce from March’s 87%-8% and February’s 83%-11%.
Biden’s approval rating hit bottom in February after his agenda suffered a string of defeats. With inflation concerns crowding out support for new government spending, moderate West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s opposition buried Biden’s Build Back Better social spending and climate plan. Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema teamed to block a change of filibuster rules, which doomed Biden’s push for voting rights legislation. Blocked by the Supreme Court as executive branch overreach, Biden’s vaccine mandate only succeeded in fomenting political outrage.
However, the Senate did just clear Biden’s nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to serve as Supreme Court Justice.
Biden Gets Negative Marks on Russia-Ukraine Crisis
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has presented Biden with the kind of foreign policy crisis that can sometimes build national unity on the homefront. However, the conflict’s effect of adding a risk premium to oil prices has exacerbated one of Biden’s biggest problems.
The April IBD/TIPP Poll finds American adults disapprove of Biden’s handling of the Russia-Ukraine conflict 42%-34%, little changed from 43%-33% in March.
The widespread disapproval appears tied to broader concerns over gas prices and inflation, and Biden’s perceived culpability.
In assigning fault for the recent increase in gas prices, 39% saw Biden’s policies as deserving “a great deal” of blame, nearly as much as the Russia-Ukraine situation (42%) and oil companies (41%). Including those assigning “some” share of the blame, 62% fault Biden.
Approval Of President Biden’s Policies
With Covid remaining under control and restrictions having lapsed, approval of Biden’s handling of the pandemic improved to 46%-33% from 43%-36% in March. In February, Americans narrowly disapproved 40%-37%.
Yet Biden continues to get poor marks for his handling of the economy, with inflation hitting a 40-year high of 7.9% in February. Now 44% of adults disapprove of Biden’s economic policies and 33% approve, a modest improvement from 47%-32% in March. Independents disapprove by a 54%-18% margin.
All signs point to inflation as a major source of Biden’s poor reviews. U.S. employers added 7.9 million jobs in the first 14 months of Biden’s presidency, including 431,000 last month. Meanwhile, the average hourly wage has grown a strong 5.6%. Yet inflation has eaten away all of that increase and more for many Americans.
The IBD/TIPP Poll finds that just 20% of adults say their wages have kept pace with inflation, while 48% say they haven’t kept pace. Meanwhile, 88% of Americans are concerned about the path of inflation over the next 12 months.
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