Many are concerned about Biden’s mental fitness and job performance

Only 40% of Democrats are extremely or very confident in Biden’s mental fitness. By contrast, 59% of Republicans have confidence in Trump.

March 4, 2024 

Most adults have a negative opinion of President Biden’s mental fitness, job performance, and his handling of the economy.  Few think they and their families are better off than before Biden became president in 2021, and most say the national economy and country as a whole are worse off.

A majority of adults are concerned about both Biden’s and Donald Trump’s mental capability to serve effectively as president. Only 40% of Democrats are extremely or very confident in Biden’s mental fitness. By contrast, 59% of Republicans have confidence in Trump. Independents are lacking confidence in both candidates, though they are more likely to have confidence in Trump’s mental capability compared with Biden’s (20% vs 6%).  

More people say life for their family, the country, and the national economy have gotten worse while Biden has been in office than say it has gotten better. Most Democrats feel things have gotten better or at least not changed, though about 1 in 4 feel the country as a whole and the economy are worse off than before Biden took office.

Those without a college degree are more pessimistic. For example, among college graduates, 44% say the country has gotten worse during the Biden Administration compared with 61% of people without a college degree. 

Only 30% describe the economy as good while 69% say it is poor. Even among Democrats, 49% say it is poor. Adults feel more confident about their personal finances – 54% describe them as good. Two-thirds of Democrats (64%) and half of Republicans (47%) rate their own personal finances as good.

Biden has a negative approval rating across most aspects of his job performance. While a majority of Democrats approve of Biden’s performance across most issues, 54% disapprove of his handling of the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Overall, the public does not have overwhelming confidence in Biden’s ability to meet important policy goals as president. About a quarter of the public has a great deal of confidence that Biden can effectively handle a crisis and another quarter are somewhat confident, but half have hardly any confidence.

About four in ten adults have a favorable opinion of Biden, Kamala Harris, and Trump.

Four in five adults (77%) think the country is headed in the wrong direction while one in five think it is going the right way. Sixty-two percent of Democrats and 89% of Republicans think the country is headed in the wrong direction.

The nationwide poll was conducted February 22-26, 2024 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 1,102 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.1 percentage points.

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