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Satisfaction With U.S. Dips; Biden Approval Steady at 41%

Satisfaction With U.S. Dips; Biden Approval Steady at 41%

Story Highlights

  • 16% in U.S. satisfied with direction of country; down six points since April
  • Biden's job approval, 41%, unchanged from last month
  • Job approval of Congress remains low at 18%

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' assessments of the state of the U.S. and the job performance of President Joe Biden and Congress are largely negative as the nation continues to confront a panoply of serious issues. Just 16% of U.S. adults are satisfied with the way things are going in the nation, and job approval ratings of Biden (41%) and Congress (18%) remain subpar and flat.

Few in U.S. Satisfied With Direction of Country

These latest data are from a May 2-22 Gallup poll that was conducted as the U.S. inflation rate remained near its highest point in 40 years, gas and food prices were skyrocketing, and supply chain issues persisted, including a shortage of baby formula. In addition, COVID-19 infections were rising, and a racially motivated mass shooting in a Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket left 10 Black people dead.

With these issues weighing on their minds, 16% of Americans say they are satisfied with how things are going in the country, and 83% are dissatisfied. This marks a six-percentage-point decline in satisfaction since April and is the lowest measure since after the U.S. Capitol riot in January 2021.


Democrats' satisfaction has fallen 14 points since April, accounting for most of the overall decline, and is now at its lowest point of Biden's presidency, while Republicans' and independents' views have not changed appreciably. Currently, 24% of Democrats, 18% of independents and 4% of Republicans are satisfied with the direction of the U.S.


Biden's Job Approval Mired in Low 40s

Biden remains underwater in his approval rating, with 54% of Americans disapproving and 41% approving of the job he is doing. The president's job approval has not risen above 43%, nor fallen below 40%, since last August. He has not enjoyed majority-level approval since last June.


Democrats' approval of Biden is relatively high, at 82%, while Republicans' ratings of the president have not topped 12% since he took office, and they have been in the single digits since August, including 3% this month. Biden's approval rating among independents is currently 39% and has not been above 50% since last June.


Americans Remain Highly Critical of Congress

With an 18% approval rating, Congress is very unpopular with the public, who mostly disapproves (77%) of the job it is doing.


Three in 10 Democrats approve of Congress, while even fewer Republicans (5%) and independents (19%) do.


With less than six months to go before the midterm elections, the public's mood is sour, with few Americans satisfied with the direction of the country and approving of Congress, making the Democratic congressional majority extremely vulnerable. Biden's approval rating is particularly weak among independents and is nowhere near the high level required (typically above 60%) for a president to stave off significant midterm losses in Congress.

The likelihood of a dramatic economic turnaround before November's congressional elections appears slim, which puts pressure on Democrats to persuade voters to keep them in power despite the nation's current struggles.

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