- President Joe Biden's approval rating has reached its lowest point since he took office
- The Presidential Leadership Index considers favorability, job approval, and leadership, with all components below 50 indicating pessimism
- Biden's support among Democrats remains strong, but it has dropped significantly among Republicans and independents
- Biden's handling of various issues, including the economy, immigration, China, the Russia-Ukraine war, and Iran, received mixed reviews, with many Americans expressing concerns about his performance
President Joe Biden's approval rating has fallen to the lowest level since he took office.
Not counting January 2021, the month of his inauguration, President Biden is in his 33rd month in office.
In this report, we take stock of his performance while in office.
Presidential job approval rating has existed since George Gallup introduced it in the late 1930s, and every pollster uses it.
Below is the RealClearPolitics’s Presidential Job Approval Board. The 12 most recent polls are shown here. President Biden’s approval ranges from 36% to 49%, averaging 41.1%. Our poll shows 36% approval.
Presidential Leadership Index
Two decades ago, TIPP developed the Presidential Leadership Index, an innovative metric considering favorability, job approval, and Presidential Leadership.
We compute the favorability component based on the survey question, "Overall, is your opinion of Joe Biden generally favorable, generally unfavorable, or are you not familiar enough to say one way or the other?"
The basis for the index's job approval component is the question: "In general, do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as President, or are you not familiar enough to say one way or the other?"
The question, "How would you describe the leadership that Joe Biden is providing for the country?" forms the basis for the leadership component.
The Presidential Leadership Index is the average of its three components. For the index and its components, a reading above 50.0 signals optimism, and below 50.0 indicates pessimism.
Observe the following in the chart below. First, in October 2023, all components were below 50, indicating pessimism. The index and its components have dropped by approximately 38% over the 33 months, roughly at the rate of a little over one percent a month.
Below is the chart by party. Democratic support for Biden remains strong. Since taking office, his support dropped 17% among Democrats from 90.5 in February 2021 to 75.2 in October 2023.
Meanwhile, Republican support dropped 62% among Republicans on the index from 24.9 in February 2021 to 9.4 this month.
Further, it has declined 42% among independents from 53.4 in February 2021 to 31.0 this month.
Note that while Democrats are hopeful at 75.2 (above 50.0), both Republicans (9.4) and independents (31.0) are below 50.0, indicating deep pessimism.
Comparison Of Presidents (2001-2023)
How does President Biden compare with other Presidents in the 33rd month of his term?
To answer this question, we plotted the Presidential Leadership Index with months in office as the x-axis.
Observe the following points in the chart below:
At this point, President Bush, during his first term, achieved the highest rating of 53.5, largely boosted by his response to 9/11. President Bush also received the lowest 33rd-month rating during his second term, 36.5.
President Obama scored 46.3 in his first term and 46.5 in his second term, while President Trump received a rating of 44.8.
President Biden's rating of 39.0 is closely comparable to President Bush's second-term rating 36.5.
Biden suffers the biggest percentage drop on our Presidential Leadership Index. Here are the declines from the beginning of their term to the 33rd month, sorted in descending order:
- Biden dropped 38% (from 63.1 to 39.0)
- Obama, in his first term, dropped 35% (from 71.0 to 46.3)
- Bush, in his second term, dropped 30% (from 51.9 to 36.5)
- Bush, in his first term, dropped 17% (from 64.6 to 53.5)
- Trump dropped 9% (from 49.2 to 44.8)
- Obama, in his second term, dropped 7% (from 50.1 to 46.5)
Only 29% give President Biden an A or B for his performance so far. Most Democrats (60%) give him good grades, while 89% of Republicans and 53% of independents give him a D or F. Notably, two-thirds of Republicans have given him an F.
Each month, we ask respondents to grade President Biden's performance on nine issues plus overall. The chart below shows the percentage of respondents giving him good grades for these issues. It is noteworthy that on seven of the ten issues, his favorable ratings are below 30%. Furthermore, only on one issue, handling the coronavirus pandemic (41%), does his favorable rating surpass his overall approval rating of 36%.
Direction Of Country
Under Biden’s leadership, most Americans think the nation is going in the wrong direction.
Each month, the IBD/TIPP Poll probes the general sentiment about the country’s direction using the survey question, "In general, how satisfied are you with the direction that the country is going in at this time?"
Using the responses, we also compute the Direction of the Country index. The index ranges from 0 to 100. An index of 50 or above is positive, below 50 is negative, and 50 is neutral.
Overall, the index entered the negative zone in September 2021 and has remained there for 26 months. The October reading is 31.6.
Democrats have the most optimistic reading, at 51.8. Republicans have the lowest score (15.7), indicating extreme pessimism. Independents are in the middle at 25.8.
Bidenomics Is A Failure
President Biden is presiding over the worst inflation of the decade. In the latest IBD/TIPP Poll, 90% of Americans are concerned about inflation, with 59% very concerned and another 31% somewhat concerned. Since April 2022, inflation concerns have stayed above 85%. The "very concerned" share has been over 50% for 20 consecutive months.
Americans disapprove of President Biden's economic policies more than 2 to 1, with inflation being a major factor. Most Americans feel that their wages have not kept pace with inflation. Further, financial stress has increased due to factors like higher interest rates and gas prices.
The resumption of federal student loan payments and the striking down of Biden's loan forgiveness program may have contributed to declining approval among college grads.
President Biden's handling of the economy gets good grades only from 25% of Americans, 11 points less than his overall job approval of 36%. Over half (56%) give him a D or F.
Among Democrats, only 51% give him a good grade in October, much lower than his overall job approval rating of 60%, a nine-point difference.
This month, 88% of Republicans and 60% of independents give him a D or F.
Bidenflation, inflation since he took office, stood at 17.0% in September. Food prices are up by 19.4%, energy by 38%, and all items less food and energy by 14.6%.
Most Americans blame President Biden’s policies as the root cause of inflation. The President, beholden to the Green wing of his party, pushed America from energy independence to energy dependence. He emptied the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, causing a national security vulnerability. The Biden administration's withdrawals from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) have left it near historic lows. As of the week ending Sept. 29, the SPR had about 351.3 million barrels of oil, close to its lowest level since 1983. Now, the U.S. depends on dictatorships like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to meet its energy needs.
President Biden does not have a clear plan to lower spending. America’s debt burden is now in the vicinity of $33 trillion. With high inflation, the cost of servicing America’s deficits goes up.
In the latest I&I/TIPP Poll, two-thirds blame excessive government spending is responsible for the national debt.
Only 23% give President Biden good grades for his handling of spending and taxes. Nearly one-half of Democrats (48%) approve of his policies on spending and taxes. Republicans (86%) and independents (59%) give him failing grades.
Americans consider immigration as the #2 important issue facing the country following the economy. It is not an exaggeration to state that there is an invasion at the southern border and the crisis results from President Biden's weak immigration policies. Even Democratic politicians in several states have declared states of emergency due to the border crisis.
The Mexican drug cartels are gaining power due to the lax border policies. The terrible situation is a catastrophe on multiple fronts: national security, sovereignty, human trafficking, and drug trafficking.
Only one in five (20%) give President Biden good grades for handling immigration and border security issues. Even Democrats are unhappy, with only 41% giving him an A or B. Nearly nine in ten (88%) Republicans and 58% of independents flunk President Biden.
Americans don’t think that President Biden stands tough against China. The President’s handling of Chinese balloons over American skies recently was unimpressive. He has yet to get to the bottom of the origin of the coronavirus. No one knows if his Taiwan policy is "strategic ambiguity" or "strategic clarity."
Only one in five (22%) gives him good grades on the issue. Only Democrats (44%) are happy. Most Republicans (84%) and independents (48%) are unhappy.
Handling Russia-Ukraine War
The U.S. is fighting a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, and we are involved knee-deep. Americans fear the U.S. may get directly involved and are concerned about the potential use of nuclear weapons in the war.
Biden administration is responsible for a war that could have been averted.
President Biden has yet to develop a vision of how to end the war. ‘As long as it takes’ is his strategy. He has already committed over $100 billion, and the U.S. is on tap to fund Ukraine’s reconstruction, estimated above $750 billion.
Only 28% give President Biden good grades for his handling of the war. But, most of the Democrats (55%) give him good grades.
The poll was completed before the recent Hamas attack on Israel. Here again, only 21% are happy with Biden’s performance.
Biden, The Divider
Over three-fourths (76%) believe the nation is divided. President Biden keeps insulting Trump supporters, some 74 million voters, as MAGA extremists. He does not foster unity, and his retail politics have been unpresidential.
President Biden’s Mental Health
Initially, corporate media ignored President Biden's mental health, considering it a taboo topic with the potential for cancellation if discussed. However, more recently, in May of this year, the corporate media began to address the issue, highlighting the ABC News/Washington Post Poll on Biden's mental health. The TIPP Poll had identified this concern ten months earlier, with 64% of Americans expressing worry about his mental health in October 2022, including 52% of his party and 59% of Republicans.
Our September survey showed that 69% of Americans are worried that Biden’s age and mental capacity pose a national security threat.
Biden Alleged Business Dealings
House Republicans are investigating alleged Biden briberies and corruption charges. It has dented his reputation. In a recent TIPP Poll, nearly one-half (48%) said that Biden has not been honest about his involvement in the business dealings of his son Hunter Biden with foreign entities.
Americans are feeling the impact of having a weak president. President Biden has made the country weaker in many ways, like losing our energy independence and struggling with the invasion at the border. Look at our chaotic exit from Afghanistan, getting caught up in a proxy war with Russia, and creating a situation where China is rising as a dominant player worldwide. All of this has seriously hurt America's position as a global leader. Fixing these problems won't be easy. Biden’s approval ratings are pretty low and won’t be of help if he is the Democratic nominee. It's up to the voters to decide if his vision is best for our country.
Our performance in 2020 for accuracy as rated by Washington Post: