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Biden's SOTU Address Puts A Positive Spin On His Dismal Report Card

Biden may have reached a point of no return despite his tall claims during the State of the Union address.


Fewer than 33% give the President favorable grades on all ten issues we track.

  • President Biden faces challenges in domestic and foreign affairs
  • Biden's job approval rating and grades for core issues are poor
  • Support among Democrats remains relatively strong; but  is weak among others
  • Biden's State of the Union address strives to revamp his underwhelming report card
  • RELATED: Fact-Checking Biden’s State Of The Union Address

Bouncing off of his first term low of 33% in December, President Biden's job approval ratings improved to 36% in January. It remained frozen at 36% in February and increased to 37% in March.

Among Democrats, more than two-thirds (71%) approve of the job he is doing as president. In contrast, most Republicans (86%) and a significant portion of independents (56%) disapprove. While two-thirds (68%) of liberals approve, only 19% of conservatives and a third of moderates (36%) express approval.

The results are from a nationwide TIPP Poll, which surveyed 1,419 Americans from February 28 to March 1 before the State of the Union address. The credibility interval for the survey is +/- 2.7 percentage points.

TIPP developed the Presidential Leadership Index to facilitate easy tracking, an innovative metric considering favorability, job approval, and Presidential Leadership.

The Presidential Leadership Index is calculated as the average of these three components. Readings above 50.0 signify approval, while readings below 50.0 indicate disapproval.

Overall, the index improved 1.5 points to record 40.9 in March from 39.4 in February. Among the 36 demographic groups we track, only four posted readings above 50.

Breaking it down by party, Democrats gained 2.4 points, rising from 71.8 in February to 74.2 in March. Republicans saw a 0.7-point gain to 12.7, and independents improved by 1.8 points to 34.0.

Overall Performance

When asked to grade Biden’s overall performance as president so far, only 31% give him an A or B, six points less than his job approval of 37%.

Over one-half of Democrats (58%) give him good grades. Most Republicans (79%) and independents (53%) give failing grades.

The chart below summarizes how Americans see Biden’s handling of issues. Notice that Biden gets favorable ratings from fewer than a third of people on all issues.

Further, a majority gives him a D or F for four issues and pegs him in the 40% to 50% range on six 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

The President claimed:

We have the best economy in the world.

But the truth is far from rosy, and Biden fails miserably on this front. His economic policies, collectively branded as “Bidenomics,” have not helped Americans. Bidenflation, the price increase for goods and services under the President’s watch, runs at 17.3%.

Americans’ wages have stagnated, and many have taken up second jobs or rely on credit cards to make ends meet. Squeezed by high Bidenflation, Americans are racking up credit card debt.

In a recent TIPP Poll, 58% said they weren’t better off than they were four years ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic, while only 34% said they were.

Further, two-thirds live paycheck to paycheck under Biden, and 24% of Americans have $0 for financial emergencies.

What’s more, every day, Americans wake up to new layoffs.

Overall, one-half (51%) give Biden a “D” or “F” for his handling of the economy. Only 29% give him good grades.

54% of Democrats give him good grades. Meanwhile, most Republicans (79%) and independents (53%) give him failing grades.

Handling Spending

In his address, Biden blamed “the last administration” for adding “more to the national debt than in any presidential term in American history.”

In January, the national debt crossed the $34 trillion mark, making the U.S. the most indebted country in the world. On average, the government has borrowed $250,000 for each American household. The debt is increasing by $1 trillion every 100 days.

Most Americans believe the debt situation is unsustainable and want to rein in government spending. Recently, President Biden's proposal to spend $100 billion on Ukraine, Israel, and border security is stuck in the Republican-controlled House.

Overall, one-half (51%) give Biden a “D” or “F” for his handling of spending and taxes. Only 26% give him good grades.

While 48% of Democrats give him good grades, Republicans (80%) and independents (52%) give him failing grades.


Americans consider immigration the country's second-most important issue after the economy. The importance of immigration increased sharply from 29% in December to 36% in January and remained at that level in February. In March, 37% rate it as a top issue, following the economy at 38%.

Biden has neglected the influx of migrants through the southern border. Estimates say as many as seven million people have crossed the border under the President’s watch. Most attribute the crisis to Biden’s weak immigration policies. But, according to Biden, his “serious negotiations” have resulted in “a bipartisan bill with the toughest set of border security reforms we’ve ever seen in this country.”

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Majority (58%) are dissatisfied with his handling of immigration and border security. Only one in five (21%) are satisfied. While 38% of Democrats are satisfied, 84% of Republicans are dissatisfied. Meanwhile, nearly six in ten (61%) independents are dissatisfied.

Handling Crime

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

According to the President Biden:

Last year, the murder rate saw the sharpest decrease in history, and violent crime fell to one of the lowest levels in more than 50 years.

This month, over half (54%) give Biden failing grades for his handling of crime. Only 22% give him an A or B.

Among Democrats, over four in ten (42%) give him an A or B. Most Republicans (59%) give him an F, with another 20% giving him a D. Meanwhile, most independents grade him poorly: 33% give him a F, and 24% give him a D.

Foreign Policy

While 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 August 2021. In March, Republicans (26.1) and independents (32.3) are pessimistic. Democrats also recorded a pessimistic 48.9.

Handling The Israel-Hamas Conflict

On the raging crisis, the President stated:

We’ve been working non-stop to establish an immediate ceasefire that would last for at least six weeks.

One-half (50%) of the survey participants are unhappy with Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Just over one-fifth (21%) of them give him good grades.

While over a third (35%) of Democrats give him positive grades, a quarter (28%) give him a C, and another 29% give him failing grades of D or F.

Two-thirds (71%) of Republicans and half of independents (49%) give him failing grades.

Handling Iran

“Creating stability in the Middle East also means containing the threat posed by Iran,” President Biden.

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

Further, the Red Sea attacks pose a significant risk to the American economy. If the situation gets out of hand, imports, energy, and food costs could increase.

Over four out of ten (44%) give him failing grades for Biden's handling of Iran, while around one-fifth (24%) 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. While admitting that “Putin of Russia is on the march, invading Ukraine and sowing chaos throughout Europe and beyond” he had adopted a disastrous ‘As long as it takes’ strategy. Most Americans think Biden has not done enough to end the war. 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 46% giving him a D or F for handling the war. Only 28% see Biden in a positive light on this issue.

Dissatisfaction runs high among Republicans (74%) and independents (45%), while a majority(51%) of Democrats are satisfied.

Handling China

On America’s strategic competitor, Biden had this to say:

Our trade deficit with China is down to the lowest point in over a decade. We’re standing up against China’s unfair economic practices. 

Popular opinion is contrary to this claim.

Only a quarter (24%) give him good grades on the issue. Only Democrats (45%) are satisfied. Most Republicans (75%) and independents (45%) 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 (64%) are dissatisfied, with 37% not very satisfied and another 27% not at all satisfied. Meanwhile, 12% 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 August 2021. In March, Democrats have the most optimistic reading, at 52.4. Republicans have the lowest score (22.5), indicating extreme pessimism. Independents are in the middle at 31.2.

In short, Biden’s approval rating of 37% 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 despite the tall claims he made during the State of the Union address.

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