White House links Biden's bad polling to pandemic

White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Biden's winter COVID-19 strategy Biden lays out multi-pronged plan to deal with evolving pandemic White House defends travel ban on African countries MORE on Friday attributed a series of tough poll results for President BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE to the nation's inability to fully overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

"I would say that this is a really tough time in our country," Psaki said when asked about the string of surveys showing Biden's approval dropping, particularly among independent voters.

"We’re still battling COVID, and a lot of people thought we’d be through it, including us," she continued. "And because of the rise of the delta variant, because of the fact that even though it was a vaccine approved under a Republican administration, even though we now have full FDA approval, and even though it’s widely available across the country, we still have … 20 percent of the country who have decided not to get vaccinated.

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"No question that’s having an impact. And of course as the president has said, the buck stops with him," Psaki said. "That’s far and away the biggest issue in the minds of the American people, and it's impacting a lot of issues."

A RealClearPolitics average of polls puts Biden's approval rating at 43 percent, down from 51 percent in early August.

Psaki reasoned the lingering threat of the virus has had a ripple effect on the economy, the labor market and supply chains that have further dampened Americans' outlooks.

She said the White House is focused on the big picture of getting life back to something akin to pre-pandemic normal as opposed to each individual poll result. 

A Quinnipiac University poll released this week found 38 percent of those surveyed approve of Biden's job performance, while 53 percent disapprove. The poll found 60 percent of independents disapproved of Biden's performance.

That poll followed an Associated Press survey last week that put Biden's overall approval rating at 50 percent, down from 54 percent in August.

A Gallup poll released last week found Biden’s approval rating among independents had fallen to 37 percent, slipping 24 points below his 61 percent approval rating at the beginning of his administration. The Gallup poll found 43 percent of those surveyed approved of Biden's job performance.