Economic perceptions continue to be a weak spot for Biden

Just over half of Democrats do not want to see Biden run again in 2024, though a large majority say they will support him if he is the nominee.

August 17, 2023

President Biden’s approval ratings have remained low since earlier this summer, with 42% approving of his handling of his job as president overall and just 36% approving of his handling of the economy. Forty-two percent also rate his handling of foreign policy as good. The AP-NORC poll conducted in June found similar results: 41% approved of his overall job performance and 34% approved of his handling of the economy.

Among Democrats, 65% approve of Biden’s handling of the economy and 76% approve of how he’s handling his job as president overall, but approval is much lower among younger Democrats. Just 52% of Democrats under age 45 approve of how he is handling the economy, while 77% of older adults approve. And only 68% of Democrats under 45 rate his handling of his job as good compared to 84% of those older than 45.

When it comes to Biden’s ability to effectively perform key functions of the presidency, a majority of the public has hardly any confidence in his ability to reduce corruption in the government, and many have similar views regarding his ability to manage the White House, handle a crisis or achieve major policy goals.

In addition to having low confidence in Biden’s abilities, the public largely opposes him running for president again in 2024, with only 24% saying they would want him to do so. Despite viewing Biden’s job performance positively, over half of Democrats (55%) do not want Biden to run for president in 2024, although 82% say they would support him if he were the nominee. Younger Democrats are much more likely to be against him seeking re-election, with 66% of those under the age of 45 saying they would not want him to run again compared to 45% of those older than 45. However, 77% of young Democrats still report they would most likely support Biden if we were selected as the party’s nominee.

Overall, the public’s perception of the direction of the country remains pessimistic, as does their view of the economy. Seventy-four percent of the public believes the country is heading in the wrong direction, and just 34% describe the economy as good. However, Democrats have a more optimistic view of the economy than Republicans (52% vs. 15%).

The nationwide poll was conducted August 10-14, 2023 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,165 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.8 percentage points.

Suggested Citation: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (August 2023). “Economic perceptions remain weak point for Biden”

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