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Biden’s economic approval rating plunges to new low on inflation fears, CNBC survey finds

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US President Joe Biden addresses his hosts as he arrives in Israel at Ben Gurion Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv on July 13, 2022.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

According to the latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey, President Joe Biden’s general and economic approval numbers have reached the lowest level of his presidency, falling further than any of his two predecessors.

While Americans felt crushed under the weight of rising prices, Biden’s economic approval fell 5 points from the previous survey in April to just 30%. The president’s economic record is supported by just 6% of Republicans, 25% of Independents and 58% of Democrats, a very low number for his own party.

By comparison, President Donald Trump’s economic approval was 41% and President Barack Obama’s 37%.

Biden’s approval for his overall handling of the presidency came in at 36%, 1 point below Trump’s worst rating. Among survey participants, 57% disapprove of Biden’s handling of the presidency.

The poll of 800 people across the country found that 51% believe the president’s efforts to fight inflation aren’t making a difference, and 30% think they actually hurt. Only 12% say they help. The poll, which took place from July 7 to July 10, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%.

A rocky economic outlook

The president’s dismal numbers come amid the worst economic outlook recorded by CNBC in the 15-year history of the survey.

Of the participants, 52% believe the economy will deteriorate in the coming year, and only 22% believe it will improve. Both are survey data, and they are worse than the one during the great financial crisis. More than 6 in 10 respondents expect a recession in the next 12 months. Another 6% believe the country is already in it. Such levels have only been found during actual recessions.

CNBC All-America Economic Survey

Only 38% of the public believe their house prices will rise in the coming year, the lowest since the Covid pandemic.

The poll found that inflation is by far the number one concern in the country, receiving twice as many votes as the next answer: abortion, which was presented as a research option for the first time. Then came crime, immigration and border security, jobs and climate change. The coronavirus, which has topped the list for most of the past few years, was in last place.

Taking Steps to Stretch a Dollar

Americans use a variety of means to make ends meet amid high inflation.

About 65% of those surveyed say they cut back on entertainment, such as eating out or going to movies and concerts. Of the participants, 61% say they drive less and 54% say they travel less. More than 4 in 10 spend less on groceries. A third are more likely to use credit cards, which can lead to higher interest payments if they don’t pay their balances. The survey shows that 47% of the participants say they are taking at least four of these measures.

CNBC All-America Economic Survey

With gas prices soaring, 50% of the public say they are in favor of easing environmental regulations to lower prices at the pump, while 42% are against, and 58% are in favor of a tax on the profits of oil companies that is returned to the consumer.

Upcoming congressional elections are coming

When it comes to wallet issues, the survey found that Republicans have a decisive edge in the upcoming congressional elections. But the question is whether other issues, such as climate change and abortion, can give Democrats a boost.

Respondents who say immigration and border security, jobs and especially the cost of living are their top concerns express a strong preference for control by the Republican Congress. For example, those most concerned about jobs prefer GOP control by a margin of 54% to 31%. Those most concerned about the cost of living prefer a 47% to 38% control of the GOP Congress. However, abortion is the second biggest concern, and those respondents prefer Democratic control of Congress 67% to 24%.

In general, Americans prefer to be controlled by the Republican Congress by a margin of 44% to 42%, but that gap narrowed by a 10-point difference in the previous poll. Both Republican and Democratic pollsters for the survey say this can be attributed in part to the rise of abortion as a major problem, though both were skeptical that it could have a significant impact on the outcome.

It remains to be seen whether the intensity of abortion or other social issues will remain in November and whether inflation remains the main concern.

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