Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

In Divided Washington, Americans Have Highly Negative Views of Both Parties’ Leaders

1. Assessments of Biden and his administration

Chart shows Biden’s job approval ratings remain low

Fewer than four-in-ten U.S. adults (37%) currently say they approve of Joe Biden’s job performance as president, with six-in-ten saying they disapprove. This is little changed over the last nine months.

Two-thirds of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents approve of Biden’s job performance, compared with 7% of Republicans and Republican leaners.

Please visit detailed tables for current views of Biden’s approval rating among subgroups.

Public confidence in Biden on several issues remains low

Majorities of Americans continue to express skepticism in Biden’s ability to handle a number of issues, including international crises and economic policy.

Chart shows Majorities of Americans express little or no confidence
in Biden on economy, immigration, foreign policy

About two-thirds of Americans say they are not too or not at all confident in Biden to make wise decisions about immigration policy (65%) or to deal effectively with China (65%). Nearly as many express low levels of confidence in him to work effectively with Congress (62%), to make good decisions about economic policy (61%) or to handle an international crisis (60%).

Of the six dimensions asked about in the survey, the public is most confident in Biden to respond effectively to a natural disaster: 50% say they are at least somewhat confident in Biden’s ability to do this, while about the same share (49%) say they are not too or not at all confident.

Public confidence in Biden to make good economic decisions, to handle an international crisis and to work effectively with Congress are essentially unchanged since July 2022, while confidence in him on immigration has dropped (from 39% then to 34% now), as has confidence in him to deal effectively with China (from 38% to 34%).

Chart shows Democrats continue to express confidence in Biden,
while few in GOP have confidence in him

At least six-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents continue to express confidence in Biden on all six issues asked about in the survey.

By contrast, Republicans and Republican leaners continue to express low confidence in Biden on every issue: No more than one-in-ten Republicans express confidence in Biden to handle an international crisis (10%), make good decisions about economic policy (8%), deal effectively with China (8%) or make wise decisions about immigration policy (7%). About two-in-ten Republicans express confidence in Biden to respond effectively to a natural disaster (22%), while 14% have confidence in him to work effectively with Congress.

About a quarter say Biden is inspiring; roughly half say he stands up for his beliefs

About half of Americans (53%) say “stands up for what he believes in” describes Biden very or fairly well, while only about half as many (27%) say “inspiring” describes him similarly. These views are largely unchanged since last August.

Chart shows Most Democrats say Biden stands up for his beliefs,
cares about ordinary people and is honest; only about
half view him as inspiring

Among partisans, views of Biden’s personal characteristics are also little different than they were last summer. Republicans and Republican-leaning independents continue to give Biden low marks on every dimension, while Democrats and Democratic leaners have more positive views of the president.

About three-quarters of Democrats characterize Biden as standing up for what he believes in (77%), caring about the needs of ordinary people (76%) and as honest (74%). About two-thirds of Democrats (65%) say “able to get things done” describes Biden at least fairly well, while a narrower majority (56%) say the same about “mentally sharp.” About half of Democrats (49%) view him as inspiring, while a nearly identical share say this describes Biden not too or not at all well (50%).

Biden’s impact on the tone of political debate in the U.S.

Today, 39% of Americans say Biden has changed the tone of national political debate for the worse since taking office, while 20% say he has changed it for the better and 40% say he has not changed it much either way.

Chart shows In a reversal from the early days of his presidency, more now say Biden has changed the tone of political debate for the worse than for the better

Views about Biden’s impact on the tone of the nation’s political debate were more positive in the early months of his presidency: In April 2021, 44% said Biden changed the tone of national political debate for the better, with 29% saying he changed it for the worse and 27% saying he hadn’t changed it much either way.

Still, evaluations of Biden’s effect on the tone of national political debate remain more positive than was the case for Donald Trump during his presidency in 2019 and 2020.

Today, 72% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say Biden has changed the tone and nature of political debate in the U.S. for the worse, up from 62% in April 2021. Among Democrats and Democratic leaners, 37% now say Biden has changed the tone of national political debate for the better, while 53% say he has not changed it much either way. In April 2021, nearly three-quarters of Democrats (73%) said Biden had changed it for the better.

Public views of ethical standards of the Biden administration

Chart shows Views of the Biden administration’s ethical standards have grown more negative

Today, 37% of Americans rate the ethical standards of top officials in the Biden administration as excellent (9%) or good (27%). About six-in-ten (61%) say the administration’s ethical standards are only fair (28%) or poor (32%). In April 2021, about half of Americans (52%) said top officials in the Biden administration had excellent (16%) or good (36%) ethical standards, while 47% said they were only fair (22%) or poor (25%).

Roughly two-thirds of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (66%) now rate the ethical standards of top Biden administration officials as either excellent or good, down 17 percentage points (from 83%) in April 2021.

One-in-ten Republicans and Republican leaners view the ethical standards of top Biden administration officials as excellent or good, while 89% view them as only fair (29%) or poor (61%). This is slightly more negative than the 84% of Republicans who said this in the spring of 2021.

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