Biden approves, economic views steady, sour: AP-NORC poll – Austin Daily Herald | Bot To News

Biden approves, economic outlook steady, sour: AP-NORC poll

Posted at 18:05 on Friday, December 9, 2022

WASHINGTON โ€” Fresh from his party’s better-than-expected performance in the midterm elections, President Joe Biden is facing consistent but critical assessments of his leadership and the nation’s economy.

A new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that 43% of American adults say they approve of the way Biden is doing his job as president, while 55% disapprove. That’s similar to October, just weeks before the Nov. 8 election, which most Americans saw as crucial to the country’s future.

Only about a quarter of them say that the country is going in the right direction or that the economy is in good shape. Both measures were largely negative over the course of the year as inflation tightened its grip, but were more positive through most of Biden’s first year in office.

Mishana Conlee said she’s trying to be optimistic about the year ahead, but thinks things are going down the drain because “our president is incompetent” and mentally unfit for the White House. The 44-year-old from South Bend, Indiana, said she is frustrated by rising costs while living paycheck to paycheck as a nutritionist at a nursing home.

“The more I work, I just can’t get ahead,” Conlee said. “That’s all there is.”

She doesn’t blame Biden for the inflation situation, but “I feel like he’s not doing anything to change it,” said Conlee, an independent candidate who voted for former President Donald Trump. Biden “doesn’t do us any good.”

In his second year in the White House, the Biden administration has enjoyed economic growth, a string of legislative victories and relative midterm success for the president’s party. But this has not yet led to glowing criticism from a pessimistic public.

“I don’t understand why his ratings are so low,” said Sarah Apwisch, 56, who pointed to the administration’s investments in infrastructure and computer chip technology.

Apwisch admits it’s been a “tough year” and that prices are higher, but as a Republican-turned-Democrat, she’s hopeful about the midterm results and worries about the impact of the Make America Great Again movement on the Republican Party.

“We’re headed in the right direction,” said the Three Rivers, Michigan, resident who works in the financial department of a market research firm. She’s eager for Democrats to move forward on a sweeping agenda, including codifying abortion rights.

Even as Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, Democrats defied historical precedent to prevent a GOP gain and even improve their Senate majority, which was solidified by a runoff victory this week for Sen. Raphael Warnock, the lone Democrat in Georgii this year, who was elected nationwide.

Glen McDaniel of Atlanta, who voted twice for Warnock, believes the Biden administration has moved the country forward and weathered the economic storm as best it could.

“I think this administration has done as much as it can” to fight inflation, the Democrat said.

But McDaniel, a 70-year-old medical researcher, also believes the country faces “social headaches” that he wants Biden and the party to prioritize.

“I think Democrats can be a little more aggressive” in passing legislation on things like marriage equality, reproductive rights and voting reform, he said.

The poll shows that a majority of Democrats and Republicans believe things are on the wrong track in the country, probably for different reasons.

But Democrats have again shown confidence in Biden, boosting his overall job approval rating from a slump over the summer. Still, the 43% he approves in the new survey is still down slightly from 48% a year ago and well down from 60% nearly two years ago, a month after he took office.

Seventy-seven percent of Democrats, but only 10% of Republicans, support Biden.

While many Americans don’t entirely blame Biden for high inflation, this year’s AP-NORC poll found that Biden has consistently taken a beating over his handling of the economy.

As in recent months, the new poll shows that only a quarter of American adults say the economic situation is good, while three-quarters call it bad. Nine in 10 Republicans and about 6 in 10 Democrats say the economy is in bad shape. Estimates of the economy have soured due to record high inflation, even as Biden praises falling gas prices and a low unemployment rate of 3.7%.

Joshua Steffens doubts that the labor market is as good as the indicators suggest. 47-year-old from St. Augustina, Florida, said he has been unemployed since September and is struggling to find a job in information technology.

“Even though they’re trying to say things look good,” Steffens said, “it certainly doesn’t look that accurate in the trenches.”

Biden’s shopping sprees and vacations captured on television news are “outrageous,” said the Republican, who called the president “a habitual liar.”

Steffens said he and his wife are dealing with rising electricity and grocery costs, and relying on his wife’s income has put a “strain” on their holiday shopping. He believes that Biden does not tolerate high inflation well.

“If he has policies that he’s trying to implement, they’re not working right now,” Steffens said.

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