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Last Updated: 7/23/2024, 4:02 PM

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Image of President Biden at podium.

President’s Rating Hits Record Low

National

Biden gets especially poor marks on inflation and immigration; few Americans say he is paying enough attention to their concerns

West Long Branch, NJ – President Joe Biden’s job rating has hit an all-time low in the Monmouth (“Mon-muth”) University Poll, including particularly poor marks for his handling of immigration and inflation. Only 3 in 10 Americans say the incumbent is giving enough attention to the issues most important to them, which is worse than for his predecessor. The poll also finds congressional leadership ratings have dropped, with the new House speaker debuting in negative territory.

Public opinion of Biden’s overall job performance currently stands at 34% approve and 61% disapprove – his lowest rating in Monmouth’s polling since he took office. Since September, his approval number has dropped 4 points and his disapproval number has increased by 6 points. Between October 2022 and July 2023, Biden’s approval rating ranged between 40% and 44% while his disapproval number registered between 48% and 53%. Presidential approval has dropped among both Democrats (74%, down from 80% in September and 88% in July) and independents (24%, down from 30% in September and 38% in July); and it currently stands at just 5% among Republicans.

Graph titled: President Biden job rating.
Refer to question 1 for details.

A majority of Americans disapprove of the way Biden has handled five different policy areas, results that are between one and six points worse than the last time Monmouth asked these questions. Specifically, just over 2 in 3 disapprove of the president’s performance on immigration (69%) and inflation (68%), while more than half feel the same about the way he has handled climate change (54%), jobs and unemployment (53%), and transportation and energy infrastructure (52%). While Biden’s fellow Democrats tend to approve of the job he has done in most of these areas, they are divided on his immigration efforts (50% approve and 47% disapprove). Also, while 62% of Democrats approve of how Biden has handled inflation, a sizable 35% disapprove.

Chart titled: Biden policy ratings.
Refer to question 7 for details.

“The Biden administration keeps touting their infrastructure investments and a host of positive economic indicators. Those data points may be factual, but most Americans are still smarting from higher prices caused by post-pandemic inflation. This seems to be what’s driving public opinion. There is political danger in pushing a message that basically tells people their take on their own situation is wrong,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Currently, 44% of Americans say they are struggling to remain where they are financially. Another 43% report being basically stable, while only 12% say their financial situation is improving. In the three years prior to the pandemic, the number of Americans who were struggling ranged between 20% and 29% while those who reported having improved finances ranged between 20% and 25%. When the COVID pandemic hit in March 2020, the number who said their finances were improving dropped to 11% but those who were struggling barely rose 26%, which was about on par with prior polling. This latter number remained basically steady throughout the pandemic and stood at 24% in June 2021, just a few months into the start of the current inflationary cycle. The number of Americans who said they were struggling increased to 42% as inflation peaked at about 9% in June 2022, but then went down to 37% in October 2022 as the rate of inflation started to ease. However, even though the inflation rate has continued to decline, the number of Americans who reported struggling started to increase again, hitting 41% in March of this year before registering 44% in the current poll.

Just 31% of the American public says Biden has been giving enough attention to the issues that are most important to their families. The vast majority (65%) wish he would give more attention to those issues. Just 11% of Republicans and 25% of independents say Biden is paying enough attention to their top concerns. Although a majority of Democrats (58%) feel he is paying the right amount of attention to their top issues, a sizable minority (41%) wish he would focus more on those concerns. As a point of comparison, former President Donald Trump got a relatively better evaluation on this metric in the year before the last presidential election; 41% said Trump was giving enough attention and 55% wished he would give more attention to their most important issues in a June 2019 poll.

“There is certainly an element of partisanship in how people frame their own financial situation, which is based in part on who occupies the White House. But even a good chunk of Biden’s Democratic base wish he’d start paying more attention to their top priorities than he is now,” said Murray.

Despite the fact that many Americans have a negative view of their current financial situation, most (58%) are optimistic about what their family’s financial situation will be 12 months from now. There are stark partisan differences in this view, however, with 80% of Democrats and just 37% of Republicans feeling optimistic. Independents are somewhat more likely to be optimistic (53%) than pessimistic (41%) about their financial status in a year’s time.

Chart titled: Congressional leader ratings. Refer to questions 9 through 12 for details.

The Monmouth University Poll also finds that opinion of the job the U.S. Congress is doing stands at its worst mark in more than a year – 17% approve and 77% disapprove. Each of the three congressional leaders who were in office when Monmouth last polled on the leadership in July have seen their ratings go down, including among their fellow partisans. The U.S. Senate’s Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell earns the lowest overall rating (6% approve and 60% disapprove among American adults), and is the only leader to receive a net negative score from his fellow partisans (10% approve and 41% disapprove among Republicans). On the Democratic side, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (21% approve and 41% disapprove overall and 48%-18% among Democrats) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (21% approve and 22% disapprove overall and 45%-6% among Democrats) enjoy positive ratings among their fellow partisans if not among the public as a whole. Each of these three leaders have seen their approval ratings drop between 3 and 6 points and their disapproval ratings rise between 4 and 10 points since the summer.

The new Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, starts off his tenure in about the same position as the man he replaced. Johnson’s initial job rating is a negative 17% approve and 31% disapprove among all American adults, but a positive 37% approve and 5% disapprove among his fellow Republicans. Last July, then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy had an overall job rating of 23% approve and 39% disapprove and a Republican rating of 44%-18%. These numbers are similar to where McCarthy stood when he started his short time in the speaker’s chair (19% approve and 35% disapprove overall and 41%-11% among Republicans in January 2023). Also, Johnson’s – and McCarthy’s – ratings are largely similar to where Paul Ryan stood nearly two years into his speakership (23% approve and 43% disapprove overall and 47%-21% among Republicans in July 2017).

In other poll results, Vice President Kamala Harris receives a job rating of 35% approve and 57% disapprove, which is basically unchanged from September (36% favorable and 56% unfavorable). Only 20% of the public says the country is going in the right direction, while 69% say it is on the wrong track.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from November 30 to December 4, 2023 with 803 adults in the United States.  The question results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percentage points for the full sample. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS     

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

1.Do you approve or disapprove of the job Joe Biden is doing as president?

Trend:Dec.
2023
Sept.
2023
July
2023
May
2023
March
2023
Jan.
2023
Dec.
2022
Oct.
2022
Sept.
2022
Aug.
2022
June
2022
May
2022
March
2022
Jan.
2022
Approve34%38%44%41%41%43%42%40%38%38%36%38%39%39%
Disapprove61%55%52%53%51%48%50%53%54%56%58%57%54%54%
(VOL) No opinion5%7%4%6%8%9%8%7%8%7%6%5%7%7%
 (n)(803)(814)(910)(981)(805)(805)(805)(808)(806)(808)(978)(807)(809)(794)
Trend:
Continued
Dec.
2021
Nov.
2021
Sept.
2021
July
2021
June
2021
April
2021
March
2021
Jan.
2021
Approve40%42%46%48%48%54%51%54%
Disapprove50%50%46%44%43%41%42%30%
(VOL) No opinion11%9%8%8%9%5%8%16%
 (n)(808)(811)(802)(804)(810)(800)(802)(809)

2.Do you approve or disapprove of the job Kamala Harris is doing as vice president?

 Trend:Dec.
2023
Sept.
2023
July
2023
May
2023
March
2023
Approve35%36%40%37%36%
Disapprove57%56%52%52%53%
(VOL) No opinion8%8%7%11%12%
(n)(803)(814)(910)(981)(805)

3.Do you approve or disapprove of the job the U.S. Congress is doing?

  Trend:Dec.
2023
Sept.
2023
July
2023
May
2023
March
2023
Jan.
2023
Approve17%17%22%18%23%19%
Disapprove77%74%68%72%68%67%
(VOL) No opinion6%9%10%9%10%14%
 (n)(803)(814)(910)(981)(805)(805)
Trend: ContinuedDec.
2022
Oct.
2022
Sept.
2022
Aug.
2022
June
2022
May
2022
March
2022
Jan.
2022
Dec.
2021
Nov.
2021
Sept.
2021
July
2021
June
2021
April
2021
March
2021
Jan.
2021
Approve26%23%23%17%15%15%21%19%23%18%22%23%21%35%30%35%
Disapprove62%69%66%74%78%77%71%74%66%70%65%62%65%56%59%51%
(VOL) No opinion12%8%11%9%7%8%8%6%11%12%13%15%15%9%11%14%
 (n)(805)(808)(806)(808)(978)(807)(809)(794)(808)(811)(802)(804)(810)(800)(802)(809)
  Trend: ContinuedNov.
2020
Early June
2020
May
2020
April
2020
Feb.
2020
Jan.
2020
Dec.
2019
Nov.
2019
Sept.
2019
Aug.
2019
June
2019
May
2019
April
2019
March
2019
Jan.
2019
Approve23%22%32%32%20%24%22%23%21%17%19%20%24%23%18%
Disapprove64%69%55%55%69%62%65%64%68%71%69%71%62%68%72%
(VOL) No opinion13%9%13%13%11%14%13%13%11%13%12%9%14%9%10%
 (n)(810)(807)(808)(857)(902)(903)(903)(908)(1,161)(800)(751)(802)(801)(802)(805)
Trend: ContinuedNov.
2018
Aug.
2018
June
2018
April
2018
March
2018
Jan.
2018
Dec.
2017
Sept.
2017
Aug.
2017
July
2017
May
2017
March
2017
Jan.
2017
Approve23%17%19%17%18%21%16%17%18%19%19%25%23%
Disapprove63%69%67%71%72%68%65%69%69%70%68%59%66%
(VOL) No opinion14%14%14%12%11%11%19%15%13%11%13%16%11%
 (n)(802)(805)(806)(803)(803)(806)(806)(1,009)(805)(800)(1,002)(801)(801)
Trend: ContinuedSept.
2016*
Aug.
2016*
June
2016*
March
2016
Jan.
2016
Dec.
2015
Oct.
2015
Sept.
2015
Aug.
2015
July
2015
June
2015
April
2015
Jan.
2015
Dec.
2014
July
2013
Approve15%14%17%22%17%16%17%19%18%18%19%21%18%17%14%
Disapprove77%78%76%68%73%73%71%71%72%69%71%67%70%73%76%
(VOL) No opinion8%9%7%10%10%10%12%11%11%12%10%12%11%11%10%
 (n)(802)(803)(803)(1,008)(1,003)(1,006)(1,012)(1,009)(1,203)(1,001)(1,002)(1,005)(1,003)(1,008)(1,012)
* Registered voters

[QUESTIONS 4 & 5 WERE ROTATED WITH QUESTIONS 6 & 7]

4.Now, thinking about your current financial situation, would you say you are struggling to remain where you are financially, basically stable in your current financial situation, or is your financial situation improving?

  Trend:Dec.
2023
March
2023
Oct.
2022
June
2022
June
2021
Late June
2020
Early June
2020
May
2020
April
2020
March
2020
April
2019
April
2018
Jan.
2017
Struggling44%41%37%42%24%22%20%23%26%26%20%24%29%
Stable43%46%51%47%58%61%65%63%62%61%54%51%51%
Improving12%12%11%9%14%17%13%13%11%11%25%23%20%
(VOL) Don’t know1%2%2%1%3%1%1%1%2%1%1%2%0%
(n)(803)(805)(808)(978)(810)(867)(807)(808)(857)(851)(801)(803)(801)

5.Do you feel optimistic or pessimistic about what your family’s financial situation will be 12 months from now?  [Would you say very or somewhat optimistic/pessimistic?]

Trend:Dec.
2023
Oct.
2022
Very optimistic19%22%
Somewhat optimistic39%37%
Somewhat pessimistic19%18%
Very pessimistic20%19%
(VOL) Don’t know4%3%
(n)(803)(808)

6.Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with President Biden, has he been giving enough attention to the issues that are most important to your family or do you wish he would give more attention to issues that are important to your family?

Comparison:BIDENDec.
2023
Oct.
2022
TRUMPMarch
2020
June
2019
Nov.
2018
Sept.
2017
Aug.
2017
May
2017
March
2017
Giving enough attention31%31%45%41%38%37%40%34%36%
Wish he’d give more65%63%49%55%56%53%51%62%57%
(VOL) Don’t know3%6%6%4%6%10%9%5%7%
(n)(803)(808)(851)(751)(802)(1,009)(805)(1,002)(801)

7.Do you approve or disapprove of how Joe Biden has handled the following policy areas? [ITEMS WERE ROTATED]

Trend:    ApproveDisapprove(VOL) Don’t know(n)
Jobs and unemployment42%53%5%(803)
   — July 202347%48%5%(910)
   — Sept. 202243%52%5%(806)
Transportation and energy infrastructure42%52%7%(803)
   — July 202343%51%5%(910)
   — Sept. 202243%49%8%(806)
Inflation28%68%5%(803)
   — July 202334%62%4%(910)
   — Sept. 202230%66%4%(806)
Climate change38%54%8%(803)
   — July 2023n/an/an/an/a
   — Sept. 202242%50%9%(806)
Immigration26%69%5%(803)
   — July 2023n/an/an/an/a
   — Sept. 202231%63%6%(806)

8.Would you say things in the country are going in the right direction, or have they gotten off on the wrong track?

  Trend:Dec.
2023
Sept.
2023
July
2023
May
2023
March
2023
Jan.
2023
Right direction20%17%25%16%22%24%
Wrong track69%68%68%74%72%73%
(VOL) Depends9%12%5%6%3%1%
(VOL) Don’t know2%2%3%4%3%2%
(n)(803)(814)(910)(981)(805)(805)
  Trend: ContinuedDec.
2022
Sept.
2022
Aug.
2022
June
2022
May
2022
March
2022
Jan.
2022
Dec.
2021
Nov.
2021
Sept.
2021
July
2021
June
2021
April
2021
March
2021
Jan.
2021
Right direction28%23%15%10%18%24%24%30%31%29%38%37%46%34%42%
Wrong track68%74%82%88%79%73%71%66%64%65%56%57%50%61%51%
(VOL) Depends2%2%1%1%2%1%3%1%2%4%3%3%2%4%3%
(VOL) Don’t know3%2%2%1%2%2%2%3%3%2%4%3%2%2%4%
(n)(805)(806)(808)(978)(807)(809)(794)(808)(811)(802)(804)(810)(800)(802)(809)
Trend: ContinuedNov.
2020
Early Sept.
2020
Aug.
2020
Late June
2020
Early June
2020
May
2020
April
2020
March
2020
Feb.
2020
Jan.
2020
Right direction26%27%22%18%21%33%30%39%37%37%
Wrong track68%66%72%74%74%60%61%54%57%56%
(VOL) Depends4%4%4%5%4%4%5%4%6%6%
(VOL) Don’t know2%3%2%3%1%3%5%3%1%1%
(n)(810)(867)(868)(867)(807)(808)(857)(851)(902)(903)
  Trend: ContinuedDec.
2019
Nov.
2019
Sept.
2019
Aug.
2019
June
2019
April
2019
April
2019
March
2019
Nov.
2018
Aug.
2018
June
2018
April
2018
March
2018
Jan.
2018
Right direction32%30%30%28%31%29%28%29%35%35%40%33%31%37%
Wrong track56%61%61%62%62%63%62%63%55%57%53%58%61%57%
(VOL) Depends8%7%6%8%6%4%7%6%7%6%3%5%6%3%
(VOL) Don’t know4%2%2%2%2%3%3%2%3%3%3%4%1%3%
(n)(903)(908)(1,161)(800)(751)(802)(801)(802)(802)(805)(806)(803)(803)(806)
  Trend: ContinuedDec.
2017
Aug.
2017
May
2017
March
2017
Jan.
2017
Aug.
2016*
Oct.
2015
July
2015
June
2015
April
2015
Dec.
2014
July
2013
Right direction24%32%31%35%29%30%24%28%23%27%23%28%
Wrong track66%58%61%56%65%65%66%63%68%66%69%63%
(VOL) Depends7%4%5%4%4%2%6%5%5%5%5%5%
(VOL) Don’t know3%5%3%5%2%3%4%3%3%2%3%4%
(n)(806)(805)(1,002)(801)(801)(803)(1,012)(1,001)(1,002)(1,005)(1,008)(1,012)
* Registered voters

[QUESTIONS 9-12 WERE ROTATED]

9.Do you approve or disapprove of the job Chuck Schumer is doing as Senate Majority Leader, or do you have no opinion of him?

Trend:Dec.
2023
July
2023
Jan.
2023
Dec.
2022
Nov.
2021
April
2018*
July
2017*
Approve21%25%24%19%21%16%17%
Disapprove41%37%37%37%37%29%28%
No opinion38%38%39%44%43%55%55%
(n)(803)(910)(805)(805)(811)(803)(800)
*Question wording was: “as Senate Minority Leader?”

10.Do you approve or disapprove of the job Mitch McConnell is doing as Senate Minority Leader, or do you have no opinion of him?

Trend:Dec.
2023
July
2023
Jan.
2023
Dec.
2022
Jan.
2020*
Nov.
2019*
Jan.
2019*
Nov.
2018*
April
2018*
July
2017*
Approve6%12%12%12%21%15%15%15%10%12%
Disapprove60%50%52%56%39%39%40%28%38%38%
No opinion34%37%36%32%40%46%45%57%52%49%
(n)(803)(910)(805)(805)(903)(908)(805)(802)(803)(800)
*Question wording was: “as Senate Majority Leader?”

11.Do you approve or disapprove of the job Mike Johnson is doing as Speaker of the House, or do you have no opinion of him?

Response:
Dec.
2023
Approve17%
Disapprove31%
No opinion51%
(n)(803)

12.Do you approve or disapprove of the job Hakeem Jeffries is doing as House Minority Leader, or do you have no opinion of him?

Trend:Dec.
2023
July
2023
Jan.
2023
Approve21%24%18%
Disapprove22%18%16%
No opinion56%59%66%
(n)(803)(910)(805)

[Q13-36 previously released.]

METHODOLOGY

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from November 30 to December 4, 2023 with a probability-based national random sample of 803 adults age 18 and older. Interviews were conducted in English, and included 250 live landline telephone interviews, 348 live cell phone interviews, and 205 online surveys via a cell phone text invitation. Telephone numbers were selected through a mix of random digit dialing and list-based sampling. Landline respondents were selected with a modified Troldahl-Carter youngest adult household screen. Interviewing services were provided by Braun Research, with sample obtained from Dynata (RDD, n= 522), Aristotle (list, n= 120) and a panel of prior Monmouth poll participants (n= 161). Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The full sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information (ACS 2021 one-year survey). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points adjusted for sample design effects (1.92). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

Demographics (weighted)

Party (self-reported): 28% Republican, 41% Independent, 31% Democrat

Sex: 48% male, 50% female

Age: 28% 18-34, 33% 35-54, 39% 55+

Race: 62% White, 12% Black, 16% Hispanic, 9% Asian/other

Education: 38% high school or less, 29% some college, 17% 4 year degree, 16% graduate degree

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and crosstabs by key demographic groups.