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Biden Ratings on Economy, Foreign Affairs, Russia Near 40%

Biden Ratings on Economy, Foreign Affairs, Russia Near 40%

Story Highlights

  • 41% of Americans approve of job Biden is doing overall
  • Issue approval ratings mostly steady
  • 36% approve of his handling situation with Russia

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Forty-one percent of U.S. adults approve of the job Joe Biden is doing as president, similar to his 40% rating for handling foreign affairs, while approval of his handling the economy and the situation with Russia are slightly lower. Americans give Biden better marks for his response to the coronavirus, but still fewer than half approve.

President Joe Biden Job Approval Ratings
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president?
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling [issue]?
Approve Disapprove
% %
The response to the coronavirus 47 52
Overall job 41 55
Foreign affairs 40 56
The economy 37 62
The situation with Russia 36 55
Gallup Feb. 1-17, 2022

These ratings from a Feb. 1-17 Gallup poll are little changed from the prior readings, including a January measure of his overall job performance and November ratings for the economy, foreign affairs and the coronavirus response. Gallup last measured Biden's performance on Russia in August.

Biden's overall job approval has shown no meaningful improvement since last fall when it declined after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. High inflation and the continuing coronavirus pandemic are likely two factors keeping Biden's approval rating down.

Biden Approval

Line graph. Trend in President Biden's overall job approval rating. After beginning his term at 57%, Biden's job approval rating has held in the low 40s since September, including a low of 40% in January and 41% in February.

The trends in approval of Biden's handling of specific issues follow the same trajectory as the trend in his overall approval rating. The issue approval ratings were above the majority level early in his presidency, showed a significant drop in the summer of 2021, and dropped further in the fall.

Americans' approval of Biden for handling the coronavirus situation has consistently been his best among these issues, averaging eight percentage points higher than his foreign affairs and economic approval ratings.

Trend in President Joe Biden Rating on Specific Issues
Figures are the percentage approving of Biden's handling of the issue
Feb. 2021 Aug. 2021 Nov. 2021 Feb. 2022
% % % %
The response to the coronavirus 67 51 49 47
Foreign affairs 56 46 38 40
The economy 54 46 38 37
The situation with Russia n/a 39 n/a 36
Note: Wording for Russia item in August was "Relations with Russia."

Slump Among Democrats Continues

Biden's overall job approval among his fellow Democrats continues to hold near 80% after being consistently above 90% early in his term. In the latest survey, 79% of Democrats approve.

Over the course of his presidency, Biden's job ratings have fallen the most among independents, among whom 35% currently approve, compared with ratings in the high 50s to low 60s in his initial months as president.

Republicans' ratings of Biden have always been low; currently, 7% approve of him. Biden averaged 10% approval among Republicans through July 2021 but has averaged 6% since then.


Line graph. Trend in Biden's job approval ratings by political party. Currently, 79% of Democrats approve of how Biden is handling his job as president, down from readings above 90% between January-November 2021. Biden's approval among independents is 35%. It was 61% in the first Gallup poll measuring Biden job approval and in the 50s through June, before dropping to 43% in August. Biden's approval among Republicans is 7% in the latest poll and has been mostly in the single digits since August.

Significantly fewer Democrats approve of how Biden is handling the economy (72%), foreign affairs (71%) and the Russian situation (64%) than approve of his overall performance. Democrats' approval for the president's handling of the coronavirus response is similar to their evaluation of the job he is doing overall.

Independents are most critical of Biden's economic stewardship, with 30% approving, compared with ratings of 35% or higher on the other issues. Republicans also rate Biden slightly worse on the economy than on the other issues.

Approval of President Joe Biden Handling of Issues, by Political Party
Democrats Independents Republicans
% % %
The response to the coronavirus 81 45 12
Foreign affairs 71 37 10
The economy 72 30 6
The situation with Russia 64 35 11
Gallup Feb. 1-17, 2022

Bottom Line

President Biden's overall job approval score is stuck in the low 40s, and Americans are no more positive about his handling of key issues, except for the coronavirus response. But even on that issue, less than half of Americans approve of the job he is doing.

Since the honeymoon phase of his presidency, Biden has seen his support drop among all political groups. His ratings among Republicans cannot go much lower, so further declines in his approval rating depend on whether Democrats' and independents' evaluations of him worsen.

The experiences of Biden's immediate predecessors, Donald Trump and Barack Obama, could shed light on how much lower his approval could go among Democrats and independents. Like Biden, Trump and Obama governed in an era during which their job approval was characterized by exceedingly high ratings among their fellow partisans and exceedingly low ratings among the other party's supporters.

The low point for Donald Trump among his fellow Republicans was 77%, while Barack Obama's lowest among Democrats was 74%, so Biden may be near his theoretical low water mark among Democrats.

Trump generally fared worse among independents than Biden has to date -- with Trump never exceeding 48% among non-affiliated Americans. Trump's low point among independents was 29%, while Obama's support among independents bottomed out at 31%. Again, Biden may be near his low point for independents if his experience ends up being similar to Trump and Obama.

Biden's ability to navigate the current conflict with Russia, take steps to combat inflation, and preside over a now improving COVID-19 situation will be key factors in determining whether he can regain support among Democrats and independents and improve his overall job rating.

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Explore President Biden's approval ratings and compare them with those of past presidents in the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center.

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