President Joe Biden’s approval rating is seeing a modest rebound in July after sinking to the lowest point of his presidency, but his standing among independents has never been lower, the new IBD/TIPP Poll finds.
Biden’s approval rating perked up 1.5 points to 44.5 over the past month as some Democrats came back into the fold. The IBD/TIPP presidential job approval measure indicates that 44.5% of adults surveyed approve of Biden’s job performance and 55.5% disapprove, excluding those who were unsure or declined to state an opinion.
Including the full survey group, 40% of American adults approve how Biden is handling the presidency, and 49% disapprove. That was a step up from 37%-49% in June.
Biden Approval Rating Details
The modest improvement in Biden’s approval was strictly due to a bounce among Democrats. Members of his own party approve of Biden’s job performance by 72%-19%, up from 66%-22% in June, though still down from 76%-12% in May.
A modest easing of gas prices may be working in Biden’s favor. Social issues also may be having a unifying effect among Democrats. The Supreme Court’s June 24 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization struck down the constitutional right to have an abortion. On June 25, Biden signed the first significant gun safety legislation in three decades, though the measures were modest in scope.
Yet net disapproval of Biden widened to 34% among independents, with 60% panning his job performance and 26% approving. That’s a deterioration from 56%-27% in June, 58%-27% in May.
Republicans disapprove 85%-9%, little changed from 84%-10% in June.
Approval Of President Biden’s Policies
Approval of Biden’s economic policies barely edged above June’s low point. Now adults disapprove of Biden’s economic policies 52%-27% vs. 52%-25% in June. Independents disapprove, 62%-14%.
All signs point to inflation as a major source of Biden’s poor reviews. U.S. employers added nearly 9 million jobs in the first 17 months of Biden’s presidency, including 372,000 last month. Meanwhile, the average hourly wage has grown a strong 5.1% over the past year. Yet inflation has eaten away all of that increase and more for many Americans.
The IBD/TIPP Poll finds that just 19% of adults say their wages have kept pace with inflation, while 54% say they haven’t kept pace. Meanwhile, 91% of Americans are concerned about the path of inflation over the next 12 months, whereas 58% think we’re in a recession, up from 53% in June and 48% in May.
The IBD/TIPP Financial-Related Stress Index dipped 0.2 points to 69.3 in June. That’s still not far off April 2020’s 69.8 record high in polling going back to December 2007. Readings above 50 mean financial stress is rising.
Approval of Biden’s handling of the pandemic improved to 42%-35% from 40%-37% in June. Covid hospitalizations are trending higher again, as experts warn that the latest omicron variant could be the most infectious, but fatalities are near the lowest level of the pandemic and most restrictions have lapsed.
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 July IBD/TIPP Poll finds American adults disapprove of Biden’s handling of the Russia-Ukraine conflict 43%-30%, worsening from 42%-32% in June.
The poor opinion 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, 43% saw Biden’s policies as deserving “a great deal” of blame, more than oil companies (39%), the Russia-Ukraine situation (33%) and oil-producing countries (31%). Including those assigning “some” share of the blame, 65% fault Biden.
Investors Still Back Biden
Amid a rocky ride for the stock market, investors still approve of Biden’s job performance by 49%-44%, down from 51%-41% in June. IBD/TIPP counts as investors those respondents who say they have at least $10,000 in household-owned mutual funds or equities.
The latest stock market rally attempt may be running into resistance after Friday’s strong jobs report confirmed expectations for another 75-basis-point Federal Reserve rate hike later this month.
Much of the gains seen since Biden’s election have been wiped out, especially among tech stocks. Through Friday, the Dow Jones was down 13.8% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 had lost 18.2% and the Nasdaq 27.6%. Since the Nov. 3, 2020, Election Day, the Dow is up 14%, the S&P 500 15.7% and the Nasdaq 4.25%.
Be sure to read IBD’s The Big Picture column after each trading day to get the latest on the prevailing stock market trend and what it means for your trading decisions.
Biden’s big problem is among noninvestors, who tend to be hit harder by inflation. Noninvestors now disapprove of Biden’s job performance, 52%-35%. That compares to 52%-30% in June and 48%-36% in May.
The July IBD/TIPP Poll reflects online surveys of 1,643 adults from July 6-9. The results come with a credibility interval of +/- 2.5 points.
Please follow Jed Graham on Twitter @IBD_JGraham for coverage of economic policy and financial markets.
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