Our weekly polling is called Pollapalooza.
President Biden will hit the one-year mark of his presidency next week. The fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has not subsided is one of the challenges that have overshadowed the accomplishments of Biden. There has been a spike in cases as well as continued economic uncertainty and supply chain troubles because of the new omicron variant of the virus. Democrats have been unable to pass some parts of Biden's legislative agenda, including an ambitious $1.75 trillion social spending plan and voting rights legislation that would counteract 2021 laws passed by GOP-controlled state legislatures that make it harder to vote and easier to interfere in elections.
The public is dissatisfied with Biden's job approval rating, but it's not clear how this all factors into it. For the past three months, Biden's approval rating has hovered in the low 40s, with roughly 42 percent of Americans currently approving of his job performance and 51 percent disapproving, according to FiveThirtyEight's presidential approval tracker.
Biden has the second-lowest approval rating of any president one-year in, so this development is troubling for him. Donald Trump's approval rating was in the low 30s.
Biden's approval rating has declined, but it isn't all that surprising. Thehoneymoon period is when the ratings start off high but fall as time goes on. After one year in office, Barack Obama's approval rating fell below 50 percent, but it was still higher than Biden's. The approval rating of former President George W. Bush surged in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
It is hard to imagine a similar effect in our political environment, as the coronaviruses did not produce much of one. After sliding significantly, presidents can see an improvement in their approval rating. In Clinton's case, public sentiment about the economy improved, which helped his numbers recover, at least for a time.
Biden will have to improve in areas that have been hard hit by his administration in order to increase his approval rating. The Taliban captured Kabul in Afghanistan in August of last year, which caused Biden's approval rating to plummet.
Biden's handling of the coronaviruses could be the biggest problem. The public has soured on Biden's management of the crisis, which was once one of his strongest issues. Biden's approval rating on COVID-19 dropped below his disapproval rating for the first time this week.
Many Americans are more pessimistic about the end of the epidemic because of the omicron surge. Many states and communities have reinstituted COVID-19 social distancing policies, such as mask mandates and remote schooling, which have not made many people happy. Inflation is the highest it has been since the early 1980s, and economic concerns have largely worked in tandem with it. The current rate is not as high as it was, but ongoing inflation has jacked up the price of key goods, such as food and gas. Studies have found that inflation can cause a decline in a president's standing, so it's probably a factor for Biden here.
It is possible that some of these conditions will improve, and that the coronaviruses pandemic has shown us that it is often unpredictable. There isn't a lot that's positive on the horizon for Biden in the short-term. Democrats have a legislative agenda that is mostly in limbo, with their social spending plan and voting rights push looking like tall orders at this point. The fact that Democrats are in a legislative holding pattern has led to the fact that passing either piece of legislation would not boost Biden's standing.
Biden has control over a lot of this. The economy got moving again after the Pandemic-laden 2020. A new variant of the disease is easier to cause in a large portion of the population because many Americans refuse to get vaccinations. The buck stops with Biden as president. The government should have made testing for the coronaviruses more accessible for the public. The legislative program Democrats have pursued in fits and starts is partly on him. The public is unhappy with his performance and the state of the country, and that may change if COVID-19 continues to decline.
There are other polling bites.
The Centers for Disease Control shortened the COVID-19Quarantine from 10 to 5 days if people are not showing signs of disease. A new Morning Consult poll found that 53 percent of US adults agreed with the CDC's decision. Women and young adults who are less likely to die from COVID-19 were less likely to support this decision than men and older people. Less than half of those making under $50,000 a year supported the decision, while more than half of those making $100,000 a year or more did.
Telehealth services have boomed for older adults. According to a recent Associated Press-NORC poll, more than half of adults age 50 or older have used a telehealth service. This is an increase from prior to the Pandemic and even from the first few months. A University of Michigan poll from August 2020 shows that 26 percent of adults 50 to 80 years old had used telehealth in the last year. One in five of those older than 65 and those without a college degree still seek in-person services because of their unfamiliarity with the technology.
Older Americans are not the only ones who find the digital world overwhelming. Americans are united in their concern over digital privacy, but they don't have much control over it. 70 percent of Americans feel that they have more difficulty controlling who can see their personal information online, according to a recent poll.
According to a recent poll, Europeans are supportive of the U.S. engaging in diplomatic negotiations with Russia to help avert the crisis in Ukraine, but they are less hopeful about the risk of a Russian invasion. More than half of the countries surveyed thought that increasing diplomatic relations between Russia and the U.S. would reduce the likelihood of Russia invading Ukraine. In the U.S., support for diplomacy was the lowest at 34 percent, but a diplomatic approach was still the most popular option.
According to a recent Gallup poll, medical professionals such as nurses, doctors and pharmacists are still seen as some of the most honest and ethical workers by Americans. The ratings of honesty and ethics dropped for nurses and doctors between 2020 and 2021. The decline in approval for the military among Republicans may be the most striking. Republicans' ratings of military officers have historically hovered around 20 points higher than Democrats', but Republicans' ratings have dropped 17 points since the beginning of the year, meaning they now view military officers just 8 points more favorably than Democrats.
According to the presidential approval tracker, Biden has the approval of 42.3 percent of Americans, but they don't like him very much. A net approval rating of -8.8 points is what was achieved last week. Biden had an approval rating of 43.1 percent and a disapproval rating of 50.7 percent, for a net approval rating of -7 points.
The ballot is generic.
3 Republicans currently lead by 0.6 percentage points in our average of polls of the generic congressional ballot. Republicans led Democrats by a point a week ago. Republicans were preferred by voters by 1.0 points.