New polls show that President Joe Biden’s approval ratings remain stubbornly low, even in Democratic strongholds like New York and California.
According to a Siena College Research Institute study released on Tuesday, the majority of New York state residents do not rate the president’s job performance as “good.” Only 25% of respondents thought Biden’s job performance was “good,” while 38% thought it was “poor.”
Since August 30, the commander-in-national chief’s approval rating has been negative, and several recent polls indicate that there is unlikely to be a rapid improvement as the United States prepares for pivotal midterm elections.
When Siena College in Loudonville, New York, asked respondents to rate President Biden’s job performance, 11 percent chose “excellent.” Another 25% thought Biden was doing a “fair” job, while 1% said they didn’t know or had no opinion. The poll was conducted from February 14 to February 17 among 803 registered voters in New York state, with a margin of error of +/-3.9 percent.
The poll also asked respondents whether they thought Biden was favorable or unfavorable, and the results were evenly split, with 48 percent favorable and 48 percent unfavorable.
However, the unfavorable figure in Siena College’s monthly poll is the highest since the president took office last year. According to a January poll, 52 percent of New York state residents thought Biden was favorable, while 42 percent thought he was unfavorable. New York has long been a deep blue state, and Biden won it with 60.9 percent of the vote in 2020, compared to Donald Trump’s 37.7 percent. Since 1984, no Republican presidential candidate has won New York.
A UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll published on February 16 found that 48 percent of residents disapprove of Biden, while 47 percent approve of the job he’s doing in California, a state that Biden won with 63.5 percent in 2020.
The UC Berkeley poll was conducted from February 3 to 10 among 8,937 California registered voters and had a +/-2 percent margin of error.
The same poll found Biden had 59 percent approval in California in July 2021, compared to 37 percent disapproval. Since 1988, the state has not supported a Republican presidential candidate.
Despite the fact that the allocation of Electoral College votes for 2024 is changing based on the results of the 2020 census, New York and California continue to be the reliably blue states with the most Electoral College votes. At the next presidential election, California will have 54 votes up for grabs, while New York will have 28.
FiveThirtyEight tracks Biden’s approval using a large number of surveys and its own pollster rating system. On February 22, it gave the president 42.3 percent approval, while disapproval stood at 52.9 percent.
All of these ratings could be significant in November’s midterm elections, when Republicans hope to retake control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Biden’s record will be a key factor in Republican campaigns, and if the party gains control of one or both chambers of Congress, it will be able to stymie the president’s agenda for the next two years.
However, a more realistic message — something along the lines of “Hey, this pandemic will probably be around for a while regardless of what we do, and it might keep wreaking havoc on our economy, too” — was unlikely to endear Biden to Americans desperate for both a return to life before the COVID-19 pandemic and an end to former President Donald Trump’s presidency. Biden may have made matters worse by promising to work across the aisle, which was always going to be difficult. But, for the most part, Biden’s current political quagmire may be exactly what he signed up for when he took the helm of the country during a global pandemic.
To lift the gloom that has engulfed some of his supporters, he will need to make people feel better about the pandemic and the economy, as well as fulfill more campaign promises — which, as the past year has demonstrated, is much easier said than done.