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Biden’s Report Card Full Of Ds

Moral: Americans lack confidence in the president.

Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

President Biden may have reached a point of no return as he fights for a second term amidst a stagflationary economy, a worsening situation at a porous border, and an unstable Middle East with turmoil spreading like cancer.

Fewer than 30% give the President favorable grades on all ten issues TIPP Poll tracks.

After rebounding from his first term low of 33% in December, President Biden's job approval ratings improved to 36% in January. It remained at 36% in February, increased to 37% in March, and maintained at 37% in April. However, it dropped to 35% this month, his lowest for 2024.

Among Democrats, more than two-thirds (70%) approve of the job he is doing as president. In contrast, most Republicans (85%) and nearly two-thirds of independents (63%) disapprove. While two-thirds (67%) of liberals approve, only 16% of conservatives and a third of moderates (36%) express approval.

The results are from a nationwide TIPP Poll that surveyed 1,435 Americans from May 1 to May 3. The credibility interval for the survey is +/—2.6 percentage points.

TIPP developed an innovative metric, the Presidential Leadership Index, to facilitate easy tracking of three components: favorability, job approval, and Presidential Leadership. The Index is calculated as the average of the three. Readings above 50.0 signify approval, while readings below 50.0 indicate disapproval.

The Index declined by 1.2 points, recording 39.5 in May from 40.7 in April. Among the 36 demographic groups we track, only five (down from seven in April) posted readings above 50.

Breaking it down by party, Democrats dropped 0.2 points, declining from 75.3 in April to 75.1 in May. Republicans saw a 0.6-point drop to 12.4, and independents declined by 2.8 points to 29.4.

Overall Performance

When asked to grade Biden’s overall performance as president, only 29% gave him an A or B, six points less than his job approval of 35%.

Over one-half of Democrats (55%) give him good grades. Most Republicans (82%) and independents (58%) give failing grades.

The chart below summarizes how Americans see Biden’s handling of important issues. Notice that fewer than 30% give President Biden favorable ratings on all matters.

Further, a majority gives him a D or F for five issues and negatively pegs him in the 40% to 50% range on another five issues.

Why are President Biden's approval ratings weak? Let us dig deeper and look at a few issues important to Americans.

Handling Of The Economy

Biden’s economic policies, collectively branded “Bidenomics,” have not helped Americans. Bidenflation, the price increase for goods and services under the President’s watch, runs at 18.8%, equal to 6.0% on an annual basis.

The average price of gasoline in the U.S. today is $3.65 per gallon. Getty images.

Americans’ wages have stagnated, with average hourly earnings for all employees dropping 2.5% to $11.11 in March 2024 from $11.39 in January 2021 when Biden took office.

Overall, one-half (51%) give Biden a “D” or “F” for his handling of the economy. Only 27% give him good grades.

52% of Democrats give him good grades. Meanwhile, most Republicans (81%) and independents (57%) give him failing grades.

Handling Spending

The national debt is now $34.6 trillion, making the U.S. the most indebted country in the world. On average, the government has borrowed $250,000 from each American household, and the debt is increasing by $1 trillion every 100 days.

Most Americans believe the debt situation is unsustainable and want government spending to be reined.

Overall, one-half (53%) gave President Biden a “D” or “F” for handling spending and taxes. Only 26% give him good grades.

While 50% of Democrats give him good grades, Republicans (82%) and independents (58%) give him failing grades.


Americans consider immigration the country's second most important issue at 36%, following the economy that garnered 37%. The importance of immigration has steadily increased from 29% in December to 37% in May.

Biden has neglected the influx of migrants through the southern border. Most Americans attribute the crisis to his weak immigration policies.

58% support building a border wall. Photo credit: Amyyfory, Wikimedia commons

The majority (57%) are dissatisfied with his handling of immigration and border security. Only one in five (19%) are satisfied. While 40% of Democrats are satisfied, 84% of Republicans are dissatisfied. Meanwhile, two-thirds (64%) of independents are dissatisfied.

Handling Crime

Weak immigration policies contribute to an increase in crime. TIPP Poll has shown that Americans are experiencing increased crime in their neighborhoods.

This month, over half (53%) give Biden failing grades for his handling of crime. Only 23% give him an A or B.

Among Democrats, nearly one-half (45%) give him an A or B. Most Republicans (54%) give him an F, with another 28% giving him a D. Meanwhile, most independents grade him poorly: 36% give him an F, and 22% give him a D.


The ongoing conflict in the Middle East has brought attention to antisemitism in America. The pro-Palestine protests across U.S. college campuses have led to the arrest of more than 1,850 protesters.

Many feel that Biden has not addressed the problem forcefully enough. Only one-fourth (24%) give him good grades on handling the situation.

Foreign Policy

While President Biden is not doing well on domestic issues, he is also faltering on foreign affairs. The TIPP Standing In The World Index measures how Americans feel about the nation’s standing in the world, a proxy measure of the effectiveness of the president’s foreign policy.

The overall Index has been in the pessimistic region since September 2021. In April, Republicans (25.5) and independents (29.3) are pessimistic. Democrats declined sharply yet managed to post 50.6, slightly above the neutral level of 50.0.

Handling The Israel-Hamas Conflict

One-half (51%) of the survey participants are unhappy with Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Just over one-fifth (21%) give him good grades.

While over four in ten (40%) of Democrats give him positive grades, a quarter (27%) give him a C, and another 25% give him failing grades of D or F.

Three-fourths (75%) of Republicans and over half of independents (57%) give him failing grades.

Handling Iran

Biden’s efforts to slow Iran's acquisition of a nuclear bomb have not been effective. A segment of Americans thinks that the $6 billion Biden gave to Iran has helped fund terrorist activities by Hamas and other proxy actors.

Nearly one in two (49%) gives Biden failing grades for his handling of Iran, while around one-fifth (22%) give him favorable grades.

Russia-Ukraine War

The U.S. is fighting a proxy war with Russia, and President Biden has yet to develop a strategy to end the war. Most Americans think Biden has not done enough to restore peace. He has already committed over $100 billion, and the U.S. is on tap to fund Ukraine’s reconstruction, estimated at $750 billion.

The data echoes the dissatisfaction, with 49% giving him a D or F for handling the war. Only 27% see Biden in a positive light on this issue.

Dissatisfaction runs high among Republicans (74%) and independents (56%), while a majority(51%) of Democrats are satisfied.

Half (52%) are dissatisfied with Biden’s efforts to find a settlement. This statistic has hovered around 50% in our tracking since October 2023.

Handling China

Only one-fifth (22%) give him good grades on the issue of China. Four in ten Democrats (42%) are satisfied. Most Republicans (75%) and independents (52%) are unhappy.

In summary, most Americans believe the nation is heading in the wrong direction under Biden's leadership. The survey reveals that two-thirds (66%) are dissatisfied, with 30% not very satisfied and another 36% not at all satisfied. Meanwhile, 11% are very satisfied with the country's direction, and an additional 21% are somewhat satisfied.

Our Direction of Country Index converts these responses to facilitate easy tracking and ranges from 0 to 100, where scores above 50 are considered positive, below 50 are negative, and 50 represents a neutral standpoint.

The overall Index has been in the pessimistic region since September 2021. In May, Democrats have the most optimistic reading at 52.5. Republicans have the lowest score (21.1), indicating extreme pessimism. Independents are in the middle at 28.4.

In conclusion, Biden’s approval rating of around 35% is problematic in the context of the coming elections. Despite the advantages of incumbency, Biden may have reached a point of no return, and his reelection chances don’t appear bright.

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