President Biden will celebrate Thanksgiving with his family in Nantucket — but if polls of his job performance and handling of issues like the economy and foreign policy are any guide, he doesn’t have much to be grateful for.
Biden’s average job approval rating stands at 41.6 percent, down sharply from the 54.7 percent average approval the president enjoyed in late May, according to RealClearPolitics.
“His average approval rating is around 41. There are at least three polls out there that have him in the 30s,” pollster John Zogby told The Post Wednesday. “So we’re looking at a significant double-digit drop in a matter of about five months or so. And on almost every front he’s not doing well.”
“He’s under 50 percent on handling COVID,” Zogby added. “On immigration, his numbers are very low. On foreign policy, his numbers are very low. There is really very little to fold his hands, bow his head and thank the Lord for right now.”
Biden’s holiday break comes as the US grapples with the highest inflation in 31 years, the highest rate of illegal immigration since the 1980s and a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. His net approval rating has consistently been negative since the end of August, when the Taliban reconquest of Afghanistan triggered a chaotic and bloody US troop withdrawal.
Although polls have found broad support for the recently enacted $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, most other issues are a negative for the president.
A CBS News/YouGov poll conducted Nov. 15-19 put Biden’s approval ratings at 33 percent on inflation, 36 percent on immigration, 39 percent on the economy at large and 44 percent on race relations. There was better news for the president on the issue of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, with 53 percent of respondents approving of his efforts in that department.
A Gallup poll conducted Nov. 1-17 gave Biden approval ratings of 31 percent on immigration, 38 percent on both foreign affairs and the economy and 39 percent on crime. On COVID-19, respondents were split on the president’s performance, with 49 percent approving and 49 percent disapproving.
Some of Biden’s most brutal ratings came from an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted Nov. 7-10, which found just 38 percent of registered voters approved of his performance and 57 percent disapproved. A USA Today/Suffolk University poll conducted Nov. 3-5 similarly found that 38 percent approved of the job Biden is doing, while 59 percent disapproved.
Meanwhile, a Quinnipiac University survey released last week put the president’s approval rating at just 36 percent.
Zogby, senior partner at John Zogby Strategies, said that while Biden has “some rough waters ahead of him,” his approval ratings likely can’t go much lower barring an economic collapse — as happened to George W. Bush at the onset of the Great Recession in 2008. That downturn followed growing opposition to the Iraq War and caused Bush’s ratings to dip into the mid-20s as he prepared to leave office.
By contrast, former President Donald Trump’s average approval rating never dropped below 37 percent, according to RCP.
When Biden returns to Washington, Democrats will renew their efforts to pass a nearly $2 trillion social and environmental spending bill that cleared the House last week. The Congressional Budget Office says the measure would add $367 billion in unfunded spending, potentially worsening inflation. Biden has argued that the bill would lower the cost of living, particularly for people with children, thanks to extending a child tax credit increase and new subsidies for child care and universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds.
Zogby said that Biden’s political fate may be linked to the bill’s success — if Senate centrists allow it to pass.
“I suspect the president will bounce back,” he said. “A lot of it is contingent on the passage of the soft infrastructure — the Build Back Better.”
“This whole thing is gonna have to play out,” Zogby added. “And [for polling], unless there’s a foreign policy coup, it’s going to take some time to see how Big Government works or doesn’t work on voters.”
Frank Luntz, a pollster and consultant who has worked mostly for Republicans, told The Post that GOP victories in Virginia gubernatorial and legislative elections earlier this month — as well as gains in normally deep-blue New Jersey — are a warning sign for Biden.
“It’s remarkable how Biden is following in the footsteps of Clinton and Obama — pushing massive spending bills that nobody wants. History really does repeat itself,” Luntz said.
“The Democrats had an early warning result in 1993, 2009 and 2021,” he added. “Let’s see if they listen this time.”
If Biden does have one thing to be grateful for, Zogby said, it’s that he’s maintaining the level of support he currently has.
“It’s hard to see, at this point, a major abandonment of Biden,” he said, “simply because right now, for the base of the Democratic Party, they don’t want to fathom another Trump presidency.”
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