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Biden job approval rating hits lowest point of presidency, most think U.S. headed in wrong direction

US President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland on March 26, 2022.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden‘s job approval ratings keep falling in his second year in the White House, with just 40% of Americans approving of the job that he is doing, a new NBC News survey finds.

That is the lowest rating Biden has seen in his presidency.

Biden’s 3-percentage-point drop in job approval since January comes as a large majority of Americans continue to say the United States is headed in the wrong direction, the poll found.

A total of 71% of respondents to the poll said they believe the country is “off on the wrong track.” That is a single percentage point less than the portion of respondents who gave that answer in the same poll taken in mid-January.

The latest grim numbers for Biden come as he leads a Western coalition backing Ukraine’s resistance to its invasion by Russia, Americans are dealing with an inflation rate not seen since the 1980s, and as the U.S. enters the third full year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“What this poll says is that President Biden and Democrats are headed for a catastrophic election,” Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinions Strategy, who conducted this survey with Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, told NBC News.

The poll surveyed 1,000 adults, 790 of whom were registered voters, over four days last week. It has a margin of error of 3.1% among all respondents.

The political party of incumbent presidents as a rule sees a loss of seats in both the House of Representatives and the Senate in mid-term elections. All 435 House seats are at stake in the November 2022 elections, while 35 Senate seats are at stake.

Democrats hold a narrow 12-vote majority in the House.

Democrats only control the Senate because of the tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, who can tip the scales in their favor when all 48 Democrats and the two independent senators who caucus with them vote as a bloc against the 50 GOP senators.

Biden has seen his public approval fall significantly since taking office in January 2021 after defeating then-President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

Trump recently has strongly suggested he will seek the Republican presidential nomination again in 2024.

Biden said Thursday he would be “very fortunate” to have Trump as an opponent in the next election, a jibe that might be warranted by Trump’s own relatively high negative approval ratings.

But the Democratic incumbent finds himself in a public approval hole that keeps getting bigger.

In the March 2021 poll by NBC News, three months into his presidency, Biden had a 53% approval rating by all Americans, and 51% among registered voters. That same poll found that 39% of all Americans, and 43% of registered voters disapproved of his performance.

In the new poll, just 41% of registered voters approved of Biden’s performance, and 54% of voters disapproved of it.

Only 16% of registered voters said they strongly approved of the job Biden was doing, while 43% strongly disapproved of it.

When Biden took office in January 2021, just 21% of Americans thought the U.S. was headed in the right direction, with 73% saying it was on the wrong track.

Three months later, the numbers had shifted significantly, with 36% saying the country was moving in the right direction, and 56% saying the opposite.

After that, however, Americans again became more pessimistic, with only 22% of people saying the U.S. is headed in the right direction, a percentage that has not changed since October’s NBC poll.

When Americans were asked how they personally felt about Biden, a total of 37% said they had very positive or somewhat positive feelings. A total of 46% said they had very negative or somewhat negative feelings about him.

When people were asked about Trump, a total of 36% said they had very positive or somewhat positive feelings about him. A total of 50% had very negative or somewhat negative feelings about the former president.

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