Chart shows Biden’s job rating remains in negative territory, with far more strongly disapproving than approving

At about the halfway point in his term, President Joe Biden’s job ratings continue to be more negative than positive. A majority of Americans (60%) disapprove of the way Biden is handling his job as president, including 41% who say they very strongly disapprove. Roughly four-in-ten (38%) say they approve of Biden’s job performance, with 18% saying they very strongly approve.

Biden’s approval rating is identical to his rating in October. During Biden’s first few months in office, majorities of Americans approved of his job performance. But his popularity declined during the summer of 2021, and his job rating has remained in the low 4os or high 30s since then.

Black (60%) and Asian (54%) adults are more likely than Hispanic (43%) and White (31%) adults to approve of how Biden is handling his job as president.

While there continue to be only modest age differences in Biden’s job rating, adults under age 50 are slightly more likely to approve of Biden’s job as president than those 50 and older (40% vs. 35%).

Adults with a postgraduate degree stand out for their approval of Biden’s job as president: A narrow majority (53%) say they approve of the way Biden is handling his job as president. Majorities of those with a bachelor’s degree, some college experience or a high school diploma or less education say they disapprove of Biden’s job as president.

An overwhelming 93% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they disapprove of the job Biden is doing as president, including 76% who say they strongly disapprove. Just 6% say they approve.

While large majorities of Republicans overall disapprove of Biden’s job as president, conservative Republicans are more likely than moderate and liberal Republicans to say they very strongly disapprove of Biden’s presidency (85% vs. 60%).

By contrast, seven-in-ten Democrats and Democratic leaners say they approve of Biden’s performance; 34% strongly approve of the way Biden is handling his job, which is less than half the share of Republicans who strongly disapprove (76%).

Liberal Democrats (77%) are more likely than conservative and moderate Democrats (62%) to say they approve of the job Biden is doing as president.

See the detailed tables accompanying this report for more demographic breakdowns of Biden’s job approval

By about two-to-one, more Americans expect that, in the long run, Biden will be an unsuccessful president (49%) than a successful president (23%); 27% say it is too early to tell.

Chart shows nearly half of the public says Biden will ultimately be an unsuccessful president

The share of the public saying that Biden will be unsuccessful is up slightly from January 2022 (43%) and has nearly doubled since January 2021 (26%), shortly before he took office.

Current views of whether Biden will ultimately be successful are similar to expectations for Trump in January 2019. At that time, 47% said Trump would be unsuccessful, 29% said he would be successful and 23% said it was too early to tell.

Most Republicans (84%) say that Biden’s presidency will be unsuccessful, nearly unchanged from a year ago but up 31 percentage points from early 2021.

Democrats are more divided in their views of how Biden’s presidency will turn out in the long run: 44% say that he will be successful, while a slightly smaller share (38%) say it is too early to tell. About two-in-ten Democrats (18%) say he will be an unsuccessful president.

Views of Republican and Democratic congressional leaders

More Americans express an unfavorable view of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer than a favorable one. Only one congressional leader – House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries – is not viewed negatively, although about half of the public say they have never heard of him, nearly double the share of any other leader in Congress.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) have an unfavorable opinion of Mitch McConnell, while just 18% view him favorably. McConnell is fairly unpopular with those in his own party: Just 26% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have a favorable opinion of the Senate GOP leader, while 56% view him unfavorably. A sizable majority of Democrats and Democratic leaners (71%) view McConnell unfavorably.

Chart shows a majority of Republicans have a negative view of Mitch McConnell, while GOP views of Kevin McCarthy are much more positive

More Americans also say they have an unfavorable view of Kevin McCarthy (43%) than a favorable one (28%), while about a quarter (27%) say they have never heard of the new House speaker. About half of Republicans (47%) have a favorable view of McCarthy; 63% of Democrats say they have an unfavorable view of him.

About four-in-ten Americans (44%) have an unfavorable view of Chuck Schumer, while smaller shares say they have a favorable (28%) view or have never heard of him (26%). Unlike McConnell, Schumer’s co-partisans view him more favorably than unfavorably. About half of Democrats and Democratic leaners (49%) say they have a favorable view of Schumer; 23% have a negative opinion. About two-thirds of Republicans (68%) say they have an unfavorable view of the Senate majority leader, including 45% who say they have a very unfavorable view.

Hakeem Jeffries, the new House Democratic leader, is still unfamiliar to many Americans. About half (51%) of the public reports never having heard of him. The remainder of Americans are roughly split in their views: 23% view Jeffries favorably, while a nearly identical share (24%) rate him unfavorably. While pluralities of both Republicans and Democrats say they have not heard of Jeffries, he is largely viewed positively among Democrats who know of him (42% of Democrats view him favorably, 9% unfavorably) and negatively among Republicans who have heard of him (40% unfavorable, 7% favorable).

The share of Americans who offer an opinion of Kevin McCarthy, who became speaker of the house last month, has increased substantially since July.

The share of the public who offer a favorable opinion of McCarthy is up nine percentage points since then (28% now, up from 19% last summer), while the share who have an unfavorable opinion is largely unchanged (43% today, 41% then). While 27% still say they have not heard of Kevin McCarthy, that is down from 37% in July. Both Republicans and Democrats are now more likely to express an opinion of McCarthy than they were last year.

Among Republicans, the share saying they have a favorable view of McCarthy has increased 13 percentage points since the summer, from 34% to 47%. About a quarter (26%) view him negatively, little changed since July.

Since July, the share of Democrats with an unfavorable opinion of McCarthy has increased from 54% to 63%. The share of Democrats with a favorable view is little different than in July, and just 11% offer a positive view of the GOP speaker.

Chart shows as Kevin McCarthy has become better known, his image has improved among Republicans

Americans’ views of Kamala Harris

Chart shows a majority of Americans have an unfavorable view of Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris’ favorable ratings are largely unchanged since last July. A narrow majority of Americans (56%) say they have a very or mostly unfavorable view of Harris, while 39% say they have a very or mostly favorable view.

About nine-in-ten Republicans and Republican leaners (89%) have an unfavorable opinion of Harris, including two-thirds (66%) who have a very unfavorable opinion. Only 8% say they have a favorable view.

Among Democrats and Democratic leaners, seven-in-ten have a favorable view of Harris, including 15% who have a very favorable view. A quarter of Democrats view Harris unfavorably.

Most Republicans say congressional leadership should stand up to Biden

Chart shows modest uptick from 2022 in partisans’ support for leaders compromising with opposing-party leadership

Over the last several years, clear majorities of Republicans have expressed a preference for GOP congressional leaders to stand up to Biden on important issues, even if it makes it harder to address the country’s problems. In contrast, Democrats have consistently expressed more support for Biden working with Republicans, even if it means some disappointment for Democratic voters. However, those in both parties are somewhat more likely to favor compromise with opposing leaders than they were a year ago.

About a third of Republicans (34%) now prefer that GOP congressional leaders try to work with Biden to accomplish things, even if that means disappointing some Republican voters. This is up from 26% who said this in January 2022 – but is roughly on par with GOP opinion two years ago.

Today, a majority of Democrats (58%) would prefer to see Biden try to work with GOP leaders, even at the cost of disappointing some Biden voters. This is similar to Democratic opinion in January of 2021, shortly before Biden took office. But in 2022, Democrats were about evenly divided on this question, with half saying Biden should try to work with Republicans and 48% saying he should stand up to them.