Biden Job Approval Slides, Honeymoon Appears Over

President Joe Biden’s honeymoon with voters appears to be over amid diminished support for his economic stewardship, the July IBD/TIPP Poll finds. Biden’s job approval fell as his bipartisan infrastructure deal hit a pothole and Americans’ financial stress rose to a six-month high amid fading stimulus and a burst of inflation.


IBD/TIPP’s Biden job approval level of 57.7 — the share of adults who approve as a percentage of those who offer a firm opinion — slid from 62.6 in early June. Biden’s job approval rating started at 64.6 in February, following his inauguration.

The July IBD/TIPP Poll finds that 50% of adults approve of how President Biden is handling his job, down from 53% approval in June. Now 37% disapprove of Biden’s job performance, up from 32%.

Biden’s job approval rating among registered voters fell to 54% from 59% in June, as disapproval rose to 38% from 32%. Registered independents narrowly disapprove of Biden’s job performance, 43%-41%.

Approval Of Biden Economic Policies

Biden still has broad approval for his handling of the pandemic: 53% support his approach, while 24% disapprove.

Yet his rating on the economy, though still solidly positive, has his some turbulence. Over the past month, Biden’s net 12% approval on the economy was sliced nearly in half from 23%.

Now, 44% of American adults see his handling of the economy as excellent or good, while 32% see it as poor or unacceptable. In June, 50% gave him a good grade, while 27% gave him poor marks.

What’s behind that slide? There are a few possibilities. Biden took some flak for announcing a bipartisan infrastructure deal, then saying he wouldn’t sign it unless he also gets to sign a partisan bill with his other major priorities. Biden has backed off that pledge he made to reassure liberal Democrats wary of the bipartisan deal. Still, prospects for its passage are uncertain.

Meanwhile, the IBD/TIPP Financial Related Stress Index rose to 61.9, up from 59.0 in June. Readings above 50 indicate rising stress. The financial stress index fell to a Covid-era low of 56.8 in early April, after most Americans received stimulus checks of $1,400 per person.

The sudden surge in inflation has likely contributed to rising financial stress. The consumer price index jumped 5% from a year ago in May, the biggest annual gain since 2008. Senior citizens living on a fixed income tend to be most sensitive to price increases. Seniors disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy 51%-32%, a dramatic shift from June’s 44%-37% approval.

However, approval of Biden’s handling of the economy could get a bump in coming weeks as tens of millions of families begin to receive a new monthly child tax credit payment of $300 per child under age 6 and $250 per child 6-17. The March stimulus package raised the $2,000 child tax credit by $1,000-$1,600 per year, while providing for monthly payments, instead of making parents wait until tax season. Previously, households without income-tax liability only received $1,400 per child.

How Biden Job Approval Rating Stacks Up

Despite the big comedown in Biden’s job approval, Biden’s 57.7 approval still looks lofty compared to recent history.

President Trump’s highest job approval, 50.1, came in April 2020, in the early weeks of the coronavirus lockdown after Congress had passed a massive rescue package. But he exited office with a 43.5 approval rating in the January IBD/TIPP Poll.

President Obama’s honeymoon ended in July of his first term, as Biden’s appears to have. Obama’s IBD/TIPP job approval started at 75.3 and held above 60 into June 2009. Obama launched his push for universal health coverage and cost controls that month, and his approval never again cracked 60.

Biden’s current 57.7 approval is higher than Obama’s rating from October 2009 until December 2016 — when he was a lame duck.

Investors Back Biden By Wide Margin

Among registered voters, investors approve of Biden’s job performance, 62%-33%, vs. 66%-28% in June. IBD/TIPP counts as investors those respondents who say they have at least $10,000 in household-owned mutual funds or equities.

Among non-investors who are registered to vote, 50% approve of Biden’s job performance, while 40% disapprove, narrower than June’s 57%-35% approval.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both rose to record highs in Friday’s stock market action, while the Dow Jones is within 1% of a record high. Since Biden’s election, the Nasdaq is up nearly 34%, the S&P 500 31% and the Dow 29%.

Biden has called for major increases in tax rates on capital gains, dividends and corporate income. However, investors have yet to pay much attention to those proposals. That’s partly because the bipartisan infrastructure plan wouldn’t raise tax rates. Wall Street analysts also have cast doubt on the extent of tax hikes Biden will be able to pass. But there may be some surprises in store.

Make sure to read IBD’s daily afternoon The Big Picture column to get the latest read on the prevailing market trend and whether investors have a green light to buy quality stocks flashing a buy point.

The July IBD/TIPP Poll reflects online surveys of 1,424 adults, including 1,145 registered voters, from June 30-July 2. The results come with a credibility interval of +/- 2.8 points.

Please follow Jed Graham on Twitter @IBD_JGraham for coverage of economic policy and financial markets.


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