Joe Biden Approval Ratings: Why Isn't He as Popular Among Voters?

Joe Biden's approval ratings have fallen. Why isn't he as popular among voters during his first year of the presidency?

Mohit Oberoi, CFA - Author

Oct. 27 2021, Published 9:15 a.m. ET

President Joe Biden
Source: Getty

President Joe Biden's approval ratings have been dropping sharply. This is only Biden’s first year as the 46th U.S. president after he ousted Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Why isn't Biden as popular among voters in his first year as the U.S. president?

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In the first year of Biden’s presidency, many people have speculated whether he will resign or be impeached. Also, most people don't think that Biden will run again in 2024.

Joe Biden's approval ratings

Biden had a Gallup approval rating of 57 percent in February, which has since fallen to around 45 percent. A recent poll by FiveThirtyEight showed that Biden’s approval rating hit a low of 43.4 percent, while the disapproval rating reached a new high of 50.7 percent.

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Biden’s approval ratings have fallen by over 11 percentage points between the first and third quarters of 2021. That’s a steep fall and no other president has faced such a massive decline in approval ratings since World War II.

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Why isn't Biden as popular?

There are several reasons why Biden isn't as popular among voters. First, the chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan was a blow to not only Biden’s reputation but the U.S. as a whole. While Biden blamed the deal that Trump made with the Taliban, the scenes from Afghanistan didn't help his approval ratings.

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Biden’s handling of the immigrant crisis at the Mexico border hasn't helped his standing with Republican or Democratic voters either. Those on the right of the political divide point to Trump’s strong views on immigration and blame Biden for the crisis.

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Meanwhile, those on the left of the divide aren't very supportive of how the administration handled the border crisis. The rise in coronavirus cases in the U.S. has also been behind Biden’s falling popularity.

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Biden’s economic agenda has stalled.

Biden’s economic agenda has been stalled as major bills, like the bipartisan infrastructure bill, haven't moved ahead. Also, a shortage of several things including daily use staples like toilet paper seems to be hurting Biden’s approval ratings. While the administration might not be fully responsible for the shortages, people tend to blame politicians for the woes.

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High gas prices are impacting Biden’s popularity.

Higher inflation, especially the steep rise in gas prices, is also impacting Biden’s popularity. While gas prices in the U.S. are market-linked, many people blame the Biden administration’s energy policies for rising gas prices.

The Trump administration supported the fossil fuel industry and the U.S. became a net energy exporter. Trump urged countries to import more energy from the U.S. to bridge the trade deficit. However, the Biden administration has pivoted towards renewable energy and has tightened the rules for the fossil fuel sector.

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Biden made a lot of promises during the election campaign and a lot of them haven't been fulfilled. The spending bill has also been toned down. Overall, there's a mix of factors behind Biden’s falling popularity. Some of the criticism is valid, like how Biden handled the Afghanistan pull-out. However, with some of the other criticism, like higher gas prices, he's just facing the brunt of a negative macroeconomic environment.


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