Biden still has a higher average approval rating than Trump ever did, but warning signs abound

·Senior Editor
·2 min read

President Biden continues to hold a higher approval rating than former President Donald Trump ever recorded in office, polls show. But the public's support for the new president appears to be weakening as his agenda has stalled in Congress. 

A Gallup survey released last week found that 56 percent of U.S. adults surveyed said they approve of the job Biden is doing as president, while 42 percent disapprove. That approval rating is 1 point lower than the 57 percent who approved of Biden's job performance in January and April, and it is still 7 points higher than Trump's approval rating high-water mark during his term of office: 49 percent. 

Yet an examination of aggregate polling numbers shows that Biden's popularity with voters may be beginning to slip. Overall, 51.6 percent of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing, while 42.6 disapprove, according to the polling analysis website FiveThirtyEight, which weights surveys based on recency and historical accuracy. That 9-point gap between approval and disapproval is the lowest gap since Biden took office. 

Another warning sign for the president can be found in Iowa, where a Des Moines Register poll released Tuesday found a sharp drop in his approval rating in the state over the past three months. In its June survey, the Register put Biden's job approval rating at 43 percent, with 52 percent of those surveyed saying they disapproved of his job performance. In March, Biden recorded an approval rating of 47 percent, compared with 43 percent of Iowans who said they disapproved. Iowa, once a pivotal swing state, trended Republican during the Trump presidency.

President Biden, seated at a table, gestures with both hands extended in front of him
President Biden in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Tuesday. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Accompanying the release last week of a Monmouth University poll that found Biden's approval rating had fallen 6 points over the last two months — from 54 percent in April to 48 percent in June — Patrick Murray, director of Monmouth University Polling Institute, attributed the fall to the president's inability to push his legislative priorities through an evenly divided Senate.

“Biden’s rating is still in net positive territory, but it seems to have taken a dip with the growing uncertainty that his signature spending plans will be enacted,” Murray said in a press release. 

A March poll by Pew Research, which showed broad support for Biden’s agenda, also hinted that skepticism over his inability to forge compromise was poised to factor into his overall approval rating. 

“About half of Americans (48%) have confidence in Biden to bring the country closer together, while slightly more (52%) have little or no confidence he can foster greater unity in the United States,” the pollsters noted. 

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