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Americans Just Handed Biden a Brutal Report Card - Even Democrats Aren't Thrilled

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As President Joe Biden embarks on his reelection campaign, just 33 percent of American adults say they approve of his handling of the economy and only 24 percent say national economic conditions are in good shape, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Public approval of Biden’s handling of the economy remains low in a time of high inflation, a difficult housing market and concerns about a potential U.S. government debt default. American opinion is also gloomy about Biden’s efforts on gun policy and immigration, with only 31 percent saying they approve of the president’s performance on those hot button issues. Overall, 40 percent say they approve of the way Biden is doing his job, similar to where his approval rating has stood for much of the past year and a half.

Zoie Mosqueda, 24, who does not identify with any political party, said her family is ready to buy their first home, but with the average mortgage interest rate hovering around 6.9 percent, that goal, at least for now, is out of reach.

The woman from West Texas said she also has been frustrated with Biden’s handling of gun policy and said he’s fallen short on his campaign promise to implement a fairer immigration policy.

Even among Democrats, the poll finds only about half approve of his handling of immigration and gun policy.

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“Everything feels a bit crazy right now in this economy,” Mosqueda, a mother of two who works at a boutique and is looking to open her own business, said in explaining her disapproval of Biden’s performance.

Biden returned late Sunday from a visit to Hiroshima, Japan, for the annual G7 summit where the global economic impact of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine was front-and-center.

The summit was shadowed by the Biden administration’s negotiations with Republican lawmakers to raise the U.S. borrowing authority to prevent a default in early June that could have severe impact on the global economy. Before departing for Japan, Biden canceled scheduled stops in Papua New Guinea and Australia, so he could return to the U.S. to focus on the debt limit talks.

“It would be a total catastrophe for the country if they don’t agree to do something,” said Bob Vought, a retired auto parts warehouse manager in St. Petersburg, Florida. He said he strongly disapproves of Biden’s handling of the economy.

Do you approve of Joe Biden’s job performance?

Vought, who lives on his Social Security benefit, said inflation is taking a toll on his personal finances.

The Biden administration oversaw two of the bigger Social Security cost-of-living adjustment in recent decades, with a 5.9 percent increase that took effect in 2022 and 8.7 percent in 2023. But Vought said that’s not enough to keep up with a rental increase at the trailer park where he lives with his father and the rising costs of food and other basic necessities.

Vought, an independent who typically votes Republican but voted for Biden in 2020, said he’s also been frustrated by the “out of control” rise in illegal crossings by migrants at the U.S. southern border.

In the 2022 budget year, which ended in September, agents apprehended immigrants a record 2.38 million times at the southern border.

Coronavirus restrictions implemented under President Donald Trump, which were known as Title 42, allowed border officials to turn away migrants to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions recently ended.

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Biden underperforms on the economy even among Democrats: 61 percent approve of him on the issue, compared with 75 percent for his job overall. Democrats feel even more dour about the current condition of the nation’s economy, though they continue to be more likely than Republicans to say the country is headed in the right direction (36 percent vs. 7 percent) or to rate the economy as good (41 percent vs. 7 percent).

Some Democratic respondents who approve of the president’s performance said they felt flummoxed by life in post-pandemic America and what often seems like a total abandonment of bipartisanship in Washington.

Karen D’Andrea, 64, a Democrat from Port Lucie, Florida, was among the millions of Americans who lost their jobs at the beginning of the pandemic. She was able to land a new job at a tech startup, but was recently laid off as that sector is going through some of the most significant cost cutting since the Great Recession.

“I think people with the same mindset as me feel our best days are behind us,” said D’Andrea, who approves of Biden’s performance but believes the country is moving in the wrong direction.

The poll of 1,680 adults was conducted May 11-15 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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