NATIONAL NEWS

Biden gets low ratings on economy, guns, immigration in AP-NORC Poll

May 21, 2023, 9:04 PM

FILE - President Joe Biden answers questions on the U.S. debt limits ahead of a bilateral meeting w...

FILE - President Joe Biden answers questions on the U.S. debt limits ahead of a bilateral meeting with Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Saturday, May 20, 2023. As he embarks on his reelection campaign, just 33% of American adults say they approve of President Joe Biden's handling of the economy and only 24% say national economic conditions are in good shape, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — As The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Public approval of Biden’s handling of the economy remains low in a time of high inflation, a difficult housing market and concerns about a potential U.S. government debt default. American opinion is also gloomy about Biden’s efforts on gun policy and immigration, with only 31% saying they approve of the president’s performance on those hot button issues. Overall, 40% say they approve of the way Biden is doing his job, similar to where his approval rating has stood for much of the past year and a half.

Zoie Mosqueda, 24, who does not identify with any political party, said her family is ready to buy their first home but with the average mortgage interest rate hovering around 6.9%, that goal, at least for now, is out of reach.

The woman from West Texas said she also has been frustrated with Biden’s handling of gun policy and said he’s fallen short on his campaign promise to implement a fairer immigration policy.

A recent spate of mass shootings around the country, including this month’s shooting at an Allen, Texas mall that left eight victims dead and seven others wounded, has left her wishing that Biden and lawmakers in Washington would do more to address the scourge of gun violence.

Even among Democrats, the poll finds only about half approve of his handling of immigration and gun policy.

“Everything feels a bit crazy right now in this economy,” Mosqueda, a mother of two who works at a boutique and is looking to open her own business, said in explaining her disapproval of Biden’s performance. “My older daughter is in school now, and I just worry that this lack of gun policy stuff could affect her.”

Biden was set to return early Monday from a visit to Hiroshima, Japan, for the annual G7 summit where the global economic impact of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine was front-and-center.

The summit was shadowed by the Biden administration’s negotiations with Republican lawmakers to raise the U.S. borrowing authority to prevent a default in early June that could have severe impact on the global economy. Before departing for Japan, Biden debt limit talks.

“It would be a total catastrophe for the country if they don’t agree to do something,” said Bob Vought, a retired auto parts warehouse manager in St. Petersburg, Florida. He said he strongly disapproves of Biden’s handling of the economy.

Vought, who lives on his Social Security benefit, said inflation is taking a toll on his personal finances.

The Biden administration oversaw two of the bigger Social Security cost-of-living adjustment in recent decades, with a 8.7% in 2023. But Vought said that’s not enough to keep up with a rental increase at the trailer park where he lives with his father and the rising costs of food and other basic necessities.

Vought, an independent who typically votes Republican but voted for Biden in 2020, said he’s also been frustrated by the “out of control” rise in illegal crossings by migrants at the U.S. southern border.

In the 2022 budget year, which ended in September, agents apprehended immigrants a record 2.38 million times at the southern border.

Coronavirus restrictions implemented under President Donald Trump, which were known as Title 42, allowed border officials to turn away migrants to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions recently ended.

While Title 42 was used to deny asylum more than 2.8 million times, it carried no legal consequences, which encouraged repeat attempts by migrants to enter the United States. Border Patrol agents returned to pre-pandemic immigration laws on May 11 that impose stiffer penalties on migrants who enter the U.S. without permission than the emergency health order did.

Despite his frustrations with Biden, Vought said he’d probably vote for the Democrat again if Trump wins the Republican nomination.

“I agree with about half of Trump’s policies but I think the guy is a liar and is so arrogant,” Vought said. “If those were the only two candidates … I’d have to still vote Biden.”

John Billman, 79, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, said Biden doesn’t get enough credit for passage of the $280 billion CHIPS Act aimed at boosting the U.S. semiconductor history, or the historically low unemployment rate. The unemployment rate stands at 3.4%,

Billman, who approves of Biden’s performance, said he feels the political conversation has become even more toxic since the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“Since January 6, there are so many that seem incredibly angry at the government, that think the government and Biden are only doing bad things,” Billman said. “I mean an infrastructure bill? It’s a bad thing? I have relatives who I respect and love and are intelligent people who say, ‘I hate Biden.’ I can understand disagreeing with him but how can you hate Biden? It’s scary.”

Biden underperforms on the economy even among Democrats: 61% approve of him on the issue, compared with 75% for his job overall. Democrats feel even more dour about the current condition of the nation’s economy, though they continue to be more likely than Republicans to say the country is headed in the right direction (36% vs. 7%) or to rate the economy as good (41% vs. 7%).

Some Democratic respondents who approve of the president’s performance said they felt flummoxed by life in post-pandemic America and what often seems like a total abandonment of bipartisanship in Washington.

Karen D’Andrea, 64, a Democrat from Port Lucie, Florida, was among the millions of Americans who lost their jobs at the beginning of the pandemic. She was able to land a new job at a tech startup, but was recently laid off as that sector is going through some of the most significant cost cutting since the Great Recession.

“I think people with the same mindset as me feel our best days are behind us,” said D’Andrea, who approves of Biden’s performance but believes the country is moving in the wrong direction. “Republicans like to say they want to make America great again. I think things can be wonderful now, but we got to work together.”

___

The poll of 1,680 adults was conducted May 11-15 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

National News

FILE - President Joe Biden listens as Vice President Kamala Harris speaks in the Rose Garden of the...

Associated Press

Democrats promise ‘orderly process’ to replace Biden, where Harris is favored but questions remain

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shortly after President Joe Biden announced Sunday that he would drop his reelection campaign, Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison had a message: There would be no automatic coronation for his replacement. “In the coming days, the party will undertake a transparent and orderly process to move forward,” Harrison said in a […]

7 minutes ago

First lady Jill Biden, left, and second gentleman Douglass Emhoff, right, watch as President Joe Bi...

Associated Press

Biden’s decision to drop out crystalized Sunday. His staff knew one minute before the public did

WASHINGTON (AP) — At 1:45 p.m. Sunday, President Joe Biden’s senior staff was notified that he was stepping away from the 2024 race. At 1:46 p.m., that message was made public. It was never Biden’s intention to leave the race: Up until he decided to step aside Sunday, he was all in. His campaign was […]

37 minutes ago

A sign is placed in front of the U.S. Naval Observatory, where Vice President Kamala Harris lives, ...

Associated Press

Democrats are rallying around Harris as she vows to ‘earn and win’ party nomination for president

Democrats quickly rallied around Vice President Kamala Harris as their likely presidential nominee Sunday after President Joe Biden ‘s ground-shaking decision to bow out of the 2024 race. But the fast-moving political situation remained volatile just months before the November election. Shortly after Biden stepped aside he firmly endorsed Harris, who would make history as […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Hollywood reacts to Joe Biden exiting the presidential race

Hollywood was quick to react to the news that President Joe Biden was ending his bid for reelection and endorsing Vice President Kamala Harris. Barbra Streisand, a Democratic supporter, wrote Sunday on X that “we should be grateful for his upholding of our democracy.” While many paid tribute to Biden’s presidency, others wondered about the […]

2 hours ago

A Delta Air Lines jet leaves the gate, Friday, July 19, 2024, at Logan International Airport in Bos...

Associated Press

Delta Air Lines says cancellations continue as it tries to restore operations after tech outage

NEW YORK (AP) — Airlines, including Delta Air Lines, continued to struggle to restore operations two days after a faulty software update caused technological havoc worldwide and resulted in several carriers grounding flights. Total cancellations within, into or out of the U.S. on Sunday clocked in at 1,461, according to the latest data from FlightAware. […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

US official says Biden’s meeting with Netanyahu remains on track, despite withdrawal from race

WASHINGTON (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with President Joe Biden at the White House this week as planned, despite Biden’s withdrawal from the presidential race, a person familiar with Biden’s schedule said Sunday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly, said the exact […]

3 hours ago

Biden gets low ratings on economy, guns, immigration in AP-NORC Poll