The ABC News/Washington Post poll finds independent voters are fleeing the Republican Party even as a clear majority disapprove of Mr Biden’s performance
A newly released poll found Joe Biden’s approval rating rising slightly but not enough to put him in the good graces of a majority of Americans, while Democrats are gaining ground with independent voters ahead of November’s midterm elections.
The survey, commissioned by ABC News and The Washington Post, surveyed 1,004 Americans from 24 to 28 April, found 42 percent of respondents – now approve of Mr Biden’s job performance — a five-point jump from two months ago — with 90 per cent expressing concerns about inflation rates that have reached four-decade highs in recent months.
Forty-four per cent of respondents said they were “upset” about inflation, with six in 10 Republicans expressing such an opinion when asked to weigh in. Only 38 per cent of voters said they approve of Mr Biden’s handling of the economy, a number just one point higher than the 37 percent who said they approved of his performance two months ago.
Mr Biden’s strongest approval numbers came when respondents were asked about his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 51 per cent saying they approved of how he’s handled the matter.
Yet when it comes to his handling of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, voters aren’t giving him the credit administration officials say he deserves for bringing together America’s Nato and EU allies in a united front against Moscow. Just 42 per cent of respondents — a number equal to those who approve of his performance generally — said they approve of his handling of the Russia-Ukraine matter, with 47 percent disapproving.
The survey results did contain some good news for Democrats, however.
Among registered voters, Democrats share of respondents who said they’d vote for their candidates in November’s midterm elections rose to a bare majority of 51 per cent, while just 45 percent said they’d vote for a Republican in November.
But Republiucan’s control of state legislatures has given them the ability to draw congressional district maps which heavily favour their party — essentially allowing politicians to choose their voters rather than the other way around — and Democrats would most likely need a far larger share of the national popular vote for the party to retain control of the House next year.
Yet trends appear to be favourable to Democrats, with the percentage of poll respondents who say they’ll vote for Republicans in November falling from a seven-point advantage two months ago, to a one-point advantage for Democrats.
The GOP losses have been driven largely by shifts by independent-leaning voters away from the party. While independents disapprove of Mr Biden’s job performance by a 21-point margin, they are evenly split, 42 per cent to 42 per cent, on whether they’ll vote for Republicans or Democrats this fall.