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Confidence Deficit: Will It Derail The President's Reelection Bid?

Biden fails on all key issues

Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz
  • 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

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.

Fewer than 33% give the President favorable grades on all ten issues the TIPP Poll tracks monthly.

President Biden's job approval rating, a crucial indicator of public sentiment, has shown a consistent trend. After a rebound from his first-term low of 33% in December, it improved to 36% in January. It remained at 36% in February, increased to 37% in March, and maintained at 37% in April. It dropped to 35% in May, his lowest for 2024. In June, it edged up to 36%. In short, his approval rating is stuck in the mid-thirties, a significant factor in assessing his political standing.

Nearly three-fourths (74%) of Democrats approve of the job he is doing as president. In contrast, most Republicans (86%) and nearly six in ten independents (59%) disapprove. While two-thirds (67%) of liberals approve, only 20% of conservatives and a third of moderates (36%) express approval.

The results are from a nationwide TIPP Poll that surveyed 1,910 Americans from May 29 to May 31. The credibility interval for the survey is +/-2.4 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 Presidential Leadership Index improved by 1.1 points, recording 40.6 in June from 39.5 in May. However, among the 36 demographic groups we track, only five posted readings above 50, indicating the challenge of broadening support across various segments of the population.

Breaking it down by party, Democrats gained 3.9 points, improving from 75.1 in May to 79.0 in June. Republicans saw a 0.1-point drop to 11.4;  independents declined by 0.8 points to 28.6.

Notice that his June 24 readings are below his 41-month average for all 36 demographic groups we track. Further, the change is in double digits for 23 of the 36 groups.

Overall Performance

When asked to grade Biden’s overall performance as president, only 30% gave him an A or B, six points less than his job approval of 36%.

Over six in ten Democrats (61%) give him good grades. Most Republicans (84%) and independents (56%) give failing grades.

The chart below summarizes how Americans see Biden’s handling of important issues. Notice that fewer than 33% 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.

Based on the above grades given by Americans, here is President Biden’s report card.

Why are President Biden's approval ratings weak? Let's examine 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 19.2%, equal to 5.9% on an annual basis.

The average price of gasoline in the U.S. on June 2, 2024, is $3.56 per gallon. Getty images.

Prices have increased by 19.2%, while real wages have declined by 2.6%. Average hourly earnings for all employees dropped 2.6% to $11.09 in April 2024 from $11.39 in January 2021 when Biden took office.

Overall, one-half (52%) give Biden a “D” or “F” for his handling of the economy. Only 27% give him good grades.

56% of Democrats give him good grades. Meanwhile, most Republicans (83%) and independents (57%) give him failing grades.

Handling Spending

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

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 for each American household, and the debt is increasing by $1 trillion every 100 days.

Overall, one-half (51%) gave President Biden a “D” or “F” for handling spending and taxes. Only 25% give him good grades.

While 52% of Democrats give him good grades, Republicans (81%) and independents (56%) give him failing grades.


Americans consider immigration the country's second most important issue, at 34%, following the economy, which garnered 37%. The importance of immigration has steadily increased from 29% in December to 34% in June.

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 (56%) are dissatisfied with his handling of immigration and border security. Only one in five (21%) are satisfied. While 40% of Democrats are satisfied, 85% of Republicans are dissatisfied. Meanwhile, two-thirds (60%) of independents are dissatisfied.

Handling Crime

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

This month, over half (52%) give Biden failing grades for his handling of crime. Only 24% give him an A or B.

Among Democrats, nearly one-half (48%) give him an A or B. Most Republicans (58%) give him an F, with another 22% giving him a D. Meanwhile, most independents grade him poorly: 37% give him an F, and 20% give him a D.


The ongoing conflict in the Middle East has brought attention to antisemitism in America. Many feel that Biden has not addressed the problem forcefully enough. Only one-fourth (24%) gave him good grades for 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 June, Republicans (24.6) and independents (29.7) are pessimistic. Democrats managed to post 51.4, slightly above the neutral level of 50.0.

Handling The Israel-Hamas Conflict

One-half (52%) of the survey participants are unhappy with Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Just a fifth (20%) give him good grades.

While over a third (37%) of Democrats give him positive grades, a quarter (29%) give him a C, and another 25% give him failing grades of D or F.

Three-fourths (77%) of Republicans and over half of independents (55%) 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 non-state actors in the region.

Nearly one in two (48%) 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.

Our data echoes the dissatisfaction, with 48% 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 (77%) and independents (51%), while most (52%) Democrats are satisfied.

Further, half (51%) of Americans are dissatisfied with President Biden’s efforts to find a settlement. In fact, Biden authorized the use of American weapons to hit internal targets in Russia, escalating the situation. Only 36% are satisfied.

Handling China

Only one-fifth (22%) give him good grades on the issue of China. Four in ten Democrats (47%) are satisfied. Most Republicans (76%) and independents (50%) are unhappy.

In summary, most Americans believe the nation is heading in the wrong direction under Biden's leadership. The survey reveals that nearly two-thirds (63%) are dissatisfied, with 36% not very satisfied and another 27% not at all satisfied. Meanwhile, 11% are very satisfied with the country's direction, and an additional 23% 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 June, Democrats have the most optimistic reading at 57.7. Republicans have the lowest score (19.4), indicating extreme pessimism. Independents are in the middle at 29.6.

In conclusion, Biden’s persistent 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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