By Emel Akan
Over the last two years, President Joe Biden made great efforts to rally fractured Democrats behind his “Build Back Better” plan in hopes of reversing his plunge in the polls.
Despite the passage of multi-trillion-dollar spending packages such as the Infrastructure Bill in 2021 and the Inflation Reduction Act by Congress in 2022, President Biden’s approval ratings have remained stagnant and have even deteriorated in recent months.
Poll after poll shows that the 46th president is clearly struggling to win over American voters with his economic agenda. Moreover, his foreign policy, particularly his handling of the Israel–Hamas conflict, has made it much more difficult for him to reverse the trend.
According to the latest NBC News poll, President Biden’s job approval rating has reached an all-time low since he took office, with only 40 percent of registered voters approving of his performance and 57 percent disapproving. The poll also showed that in a hypothetical general election matchup, former President Donald Trump is ahead of President Biden.
According to NBC News, his response to the Gaza conflict is to blame for this recent fall.
The decline in President Biden’s approval is most significant among Democrats, many of whom believe that Israel has gone too far in its military actions in Gaza. Additionally, among voters aged 18 to 34, a substantial 70 percent disapprove of Biden’s handling of the Gaza crisis. Notably, 46 percent of voters in this age group approved of the president’s job performance in September, but that figure has since dropped to 31 percent.
The survey also showed that President Trump led President Biden 46 percent to 42 percent among voters under 35, sparking a debate over whether the former president is truly making inroads with this demographic.
The poll was conducted from Nov. 10 to 14, following the surprise attack on Israel by the Hamas terrorist group on Oct. 7, which resulted in over 1,200 Israeli casualties, and the subsequent war in Gaza, which caused the deaths of thousands of Palestinians, according to Hamas-controlled Gaza health officials.
But this decline is not just limited to the crisis in the Middle East. Over the past few months, President Biden’s approval numbers have been steadily declining.
Most Americans are concerned about his age and disapprove of his economic policies, according to numerous polls.
A September Washington Post–ABC News poll showed that 74 percent of Americans considered the president too old to run for another term. Additionally, a September USA Today poll found that voters trust President Trump more than President Biden to fix the economy, 47 percent to 36 percent.
President Biden, the son of a used-car salesman from Delaware, has been described by the media as a “salesman at heart.” However, he’s having difficulty selling his “Bidenomics” agenda to the American people. Even small business owners on Main Street across the country are skeptical of his economic message, according to a recent survey by CNBC/SurveyMonkey.
President Biden’s approval rating among small business owners has dropped to a record low of 30 percent in the survey, down from 43 percent in early 2021. Notably, those who strongly disapprove of his handling of the presidency (56 percent) far exceed those who strongly approve (13 percent).
A growing number of Americans are also losing faith in the American dream due to the ongoing pessimism in the country.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal/NORC survey, belief in the American dream, which suggests that hard work can lead to success regardless of one’s background, has declined significantly among Americans. Only 36 percent of respondents in the survey still believe in the American dream, compared to 53 percent in 2012 and 48 percent in 2016.
In contrast, President Trump is enjoying rising popularity, as his current vote share in national polls is higher than it has been in the past year. Over the last year, RealClearPolitics’ average showed Trump’s support fluctuating between 42 percent and 46 percent in a direct matchup against President Biden. In November, the former president surpassed the 46 percent mark for the first time, and recently, he even reached slightly above 47 percent.
In early November, The New York Times/Siena College polls also showed that former President Trump leads President Biden in five of the six most important battleground states.
“Our perspective is that it’s not about age; it’s about the president’s experience,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said last week in response to questions about her boss’s age during a press briefing.
When asked about the president’s low support ratings, she said, “We’re not going to change the minds of Americans. I get that. Americans are going to feel how they feel. And we’re going to respect that.”