Biden’s Job Rating Steady at 40%; Middle East Approval at 27%
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Biden’s Job Rating Steady at 40%; Middle East Approval at 27%

Job ratings on the economy and foreign affairs are below his overall approval

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden’s latest job approval rating is 40%, which aligns with the 37% to 42% ratings he has earned since July, including last month’s 38%. Additionally, Biden’s ratings for his handling of three pressing issues for the administration — the economy (37%), foreign affairs (33%), and the situation in the Middle East between the Israelis and Palestinians (27%) — are lower than his overall job rating.

Majorities of Democrats approve of the president’s performance overall and on the economy and foreign affairs, specifically, but less than half, 47%, now approve of his handling of the Middle East situation. Republicans give Biden no more than a 16% job approval rating for any of the same measures, while independents’ ratings range between 21% and 34%.

Biden’s ratings on two other issues — the environment (46%) and energy policy (42%), which are measured less frequently than the others — exceed his overall rating, largely due to higher approval from independents. Both ratings are up slightly since the previous reading one year ago.


Early in his presidency, Biden enjoyed approval ratings in the mid- to upper 50s for his job overall and his handling of the economy and foreign affairs. However, none of these has risen above 44% since August 2022. His latest ratings on all three measures, from Gallup’s March 1-20 annual Environment poll, are statistically similar to last month’s readings.

The current poll marks the third time Gallup has tracked Biden’s rating for his handling of the situation in the Middle East since the war began on Oct. 7. His rating on the issue has dipped from 32% to 27% among U.S. adults, with lower approval among Democrats accounting for most of the decline. Some Democrats have criticized Biden for not taking a stronger position against the Israeli government’s military actions amid an increasingly dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza.


Biden’s Job Rating Similar to George H.W. Bush’s at Same Point in His Presidency

Biden’s subpar job approval rating is similar to George H.W. Bush’s average 41% rating in March of the fourth year of his term. Jimmy Carter (45%), Donald Trump (47%) and Barack Obama (46%) also averaged approval ratings in the 40s at the same point in their presidencies, while George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan had ratings above 50%.

Both Carter and the elder Bush saw sharp declines in approval before Election Day. Trump’s rating slipped below 40% in the summer after the murder of George Floyd, but it was back to the March level just prior to the election. All three men were unable to win a second term in office. In contrast, Obama’s rating surpassed 50% by November, and he won reelection.


Bottom Line

Each passing month that Biden’s approval rating hovers near 40% puts him in an increasingly vulnerable position electorally. Historically, incumbents seeking reelection with approval ratings under 50% just before the election have been defeated. The public’s approval ratings of Biden’s handling of the economy, foreign affairs and the Middle East situation, key issues in the U.S. right now, are even worse than his overall rating. In addition, last month’s 28% approval rating for his performance on immigration is concerning, especially given that immigration rose sharply in February to become the most important problem in the U.S. for the first time since 2019. Over the remaining seven months of the election campaign, history suggests that Biden will need to earn stronger reviews on at least one of these issues to help lift his overall image.

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