Poll shows state of economy weighs against Biden

President Joe Biden smiles recently after visiting the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. facility. under construction in Phoenix. Biden is facing consistent but critical assessments of his leadership and the national economy as his second year in the White House draws to a close. (AP file photo/Ross D. Franklin)

President Joe Biden is facing a consistent but critical assessment of his leadership and the national economy.

A new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 43% of US adults say they approve of how Biden is handling his job as president, while 55% disapprove. It’s the same as in October, just a few weeks before the November 8 election that most Americans considered crucial to the country’s future.

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Only about a quarter say the nation is headed in the right direction or the economy is in good condition. Both measures were largely negative during the year as inflation tightened, but were more positive in much of Biden’s first year in office.

Mishana Conlee said she is trying to be optimistic about the coming year, but she thinks things will go down the drain because “our president is incompetent” and is not mentally fit for the White House. The 44-year-old from South Bend, Indiana, said she is frustrated by the rising costs of living paycheck to paycheck as a dietary aide in a nursing home.

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“The more I work, I just can’t get ahead,” Conlee said. “That’s just all there is to it.”

He doesn’t blame Biden for the state of inflation, but “I feel like he’s done nothing to change it,” said Conlee, an independent who voted for former President Donald Trump. Biden “does us no good.”

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The Biden administration in its second year in the White House has enjoyed economic growth, a string of legislative victories and relative success for the president’s party in the midterms. But that hasn’t translated into glowing reviews from a pessimistic public.

“I don’t understand why his approval ratings are so low,” said Sarah Apwisch, 56, who highlighted the administration’s investment in infrastructure and computer chip technology.

Apwisch acknowledges that it’s been “a tough year” and that prices are higher, but he’s hopeful about the midterm results as a Republican-turned-Democrat who worries about the influence of the “Make America Great Again” movement on the GOP.

“We’re headed in the right direction,” said the Three Rivers, Michigan, resident who works for the finance department of a market research firm. He wants to see Democrats move forward on a broad agenda, including codifying abortion rights.


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