The approval ratings of President Joe Biden “overall and on his handling of major issues, have all fallen, dramatically in some cases,” according to the latest Economist/YouGov poll, which was released Wednesday.
Just 39% approve of Biden’s overall job performance and a near majority (49%) disapprove; the 10-point negative rating is the first time Biden has been underwater during his eight-month presidency, according to the poll results.
The collapse in the overall approval rating represents a six-point drop in just one week, and Democrats were even more inclined to drop their approval in a nine-point swing, from 86% down to 77%.
“There are many reasons for Biden’s slump: economic concerns, the continuing COVID-19 surge and restrictions, reminders of past terrorist attacks, and the difficulties that arose in the pullout from Afghanistan,” YouGov pollsters wrote in their analysis.
The swift Taliban takeover in Afghanistan and the resulting chaos, plus the deaths of 13 U.S. service members in a suicide attack, might have worked to erode support where Biden had long had solid approval ratings: the COVID-19 pandemic response.
“For the first time, a greater share of Americans disapprove (45%) of Biden’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic than approve (42%),” according to the pollsters. “This week, just 40% approve of the president’s handling of jobs and the economy, while 47% disapprove. In previous weeks, more usually have approved than have disapproved.”
The downward trend on Biden’s job approval is matched by American citizens growing more pessimistic and saying they believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. Just 26% believe the U.S. is headed in the right direction, which is a 13-point drop from the June 5-9 YouGov poll.
A supermajority of American citizens (60%) say the country is on the wrong track, which is up from 48% in that same June iteration of the poll.
“Here, too, Democrats’ positive sentiment has declined steeply,” the pollsters wrote. “Their sense that the country is headed in the right direction dropped nine points this week, to 51% from 60% a week earlier. Just 9% of Republicans and 21% of Independents today think the country is headed in the right direction. Two-thirds of Independents (66%) and 85% of Republicans say it is off on the wrong track. So do one-third of Democrats (35%).”
The Economist survey conducted by YouGov polled 1,500 American adult citizens Sept. 4 – 7 and the result has a margin of error of about 2.8 percentage points.