- Biden's 44% approval rating is up six points from July's record low
- Rise in job approval rating is largely owed to independents
- Biden's pandemic response is only issue of 11 with majority approval
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- After hitting a record low in July, President Joe Biden's job approval rating is up six percentage points to 44%, his highest in a year. While this uptick represents a significant improvement on the heels of several policy successes for Biden, he still remains underwater overall, with 53% of Americans disapproving of his job performance.
The increase in Biden's job rating is largely buoyed by political independents, whose approval rose from 31% last month to the current 40%. Democrats' (81%) and Republicans' (4%) ratings of Biden are not significantly changed over the same period.
These findings are from an Aug. 1-23 Gallup poll, which spanned an eventful period in Biden's presidency. While recovering from COVID-19, the president announced the U.S. had killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri. In the days following, congressional Democrats passed Biden's sweeping domestic spending plan, the Inflation Reduction Act, a healthcare, climate and tax package.
Although high inflation and recession fears continue to plague the nation, there has been some recent positive economic news with average gas prices falling below $4 per gallon, a better-than-expected jobs report and a slight decline in the inflation rate. The poll was completed just before Biden announced his student loan forgiveness plan that would cut debt for millions of Americans.
Biden Rated Best for Handling COVID-19 Response, Environment
Of 11 issues asked about, Biden is rated highest for his management of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the only issue that garners majority-level approval (58%), including from 88% of Democrats, 58% of independents and 20% of Republicans. Approval of Biden's handling of the environment is at 50% and is the only other issue with majority-level approval from independents. Democrats' ratings of Biden's handling of the other nine issues range from 63% to 78%.
Between 41% and 46% of U.S. adults approve of the way the president is handling education, the situation in Ukraine, energy policy and foreign affairs. Fewer, 31% to 39% of Americans, approve of the way Biden is managing relations with Russia, immigration, gun policy, abortion policy and the economy, with his economy rating the lowest.
Gallup last measured Biden's approval ratings on six of these issues in March. Support for his handling of the pandemic response, the environment and energy policy each has risen five points since then, while falling five points for the economy. Biden's ratings on foreign affairs and relations with Russia are statistically unchanged from March's readings.
Historical Context of Presidential Approval Ratings
The latest improvement in Biden's overall approval rating puts him in better standing in the August before midterm elections than five of his predecessors over the past 40 years -- Ronald Reagan in 1982, Bill Clinton in 1994, George W. Bush in 2006, Barack Obama in 2014 and Donald Trump in 2018.
However, Biden's August job rating is dwarfed by the 61% to 75% readings for Reagan in 1986, George H.W. Bush in 1990, Clinton in 1998 and George W. Bush in 2002. Obama's August 2010 pre-midterm rating matches Biden's current 44%.
Biden, whose approval rating was slumping prior to August, appears to be benefiting from recent wins as well as a slightly improved economy. A Gallup analysis of key election indicators in June suggested that the U.S. political environment was particularly unfavorable for Democrats. Biden's job approval remains below the 50% mark, which usually spells a difficult midterm election year for the incumbent president's party -- but if Biden can keep this momentum going, it could positively impact congressional Democrats' chances in November.
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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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