- Biden’s post-election job approval is a stable 40%
- Approval of Congress steady and low at 22%
- Democrats much more approving of both than Republicans, independents
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans’ job approval ratings of President Joe Biden and Congress are stable in the wake of the elections, which saw Democrats lose their majority in the House but still perform better than expected by averting the high number of seat losses typically seen for the president’s party in midterm years.
At 40%, Biden’s approval rating is identical to Gallup’s final preelection reading in October and in line with most of his ratings since September 2021. Approval of Congress, at 22%, is essentially unchanged from October’s 21% and similar to ratings since August.
Democrats continue to hold their party’s president and the Democratic-controlled Congress in higher regard than do Republicans and independents. In all, 85% of Democrats approve of Biden’s job performance, compared with 6% of Republicans and 37% of independents. Forty-four percent of Democrats approve of the way Congress is handling its job, while 7% of Republicans and 21% of independents agree.
These findings are from a Nov. 9-Dec. 2 Gallup poll conducted after the Nov. 8 elections. The field period included a week when control of the U.S. House of Representatives was unknown due to ballots still being counted in some states -- but it was clear that the “red wave” Republicans were hoping for, which would give them a comfortable House majority and control of the Senate, would not occur. On Nov. 16, Republicans won the 218th seat needed to secure control of the House. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party will continue to control the U.S. Senate by a slim margin.
Presidential, Congressional Approvals Underwater
Biden remains underwater in his approval rating, with a 55% majority of Americans currently disapproving of the way he is handling his job as president. Disapproval of Biden has consistently outpaced approval since September 2021 after the troubled withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. His latest 40% approval rating is below his 45% term average.
Meanwhile, Americans' approval of the 117th Congress -- which peaked at 36% in March 2021 and hit its lowest point, 16%, in June of this year -- remains largely negative, with 73% of U.S. adults now expressing disapproval.
Biden’s relatively low job approval ratings leading up to the elections, along with several other key indicators, suggested that the Democratic Party was poised to lose a substantial number of seats in Congress. Ultimately, the “red wave” many expected heading into the midterms did not come to pass. Even with a slim Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, a Republican majority in the U.S. House will essentially end Biden’s chances of getting his legislative agenda passed. Divided government has been the reality for all presidents since Ronald Reagan for at least part of their term.
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