President Biden’s approval rating sank to 39 percent in a poll released Friday, underscoring the challenges he and his party face heading into the midterms as he juggles multiple domestic and international problems. 

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Research poll showed Biden’s approval rating dropped to its lowest point to date, driven by growing frustration with the economy and concerns about the direction of the country from within his own party. 

The poll found roughly 20 percent of adults believe the economy is good, down from about 30 percent a month earlier. Among Democrats, 33 percent said the country is heading in the right direction, down from 49 percent a month ago. 

And Biden’s overall approval rating among Democrats sits at 73 percent, according to Friday’s poll. It had never dipped below 82 percent during his first year in office, and a hallmark of the Trump presidency was strong approval among Republicans even as Democrats and independents gave him poor marks.  

When confronted with bad polling numbers, White House aides have routinely argued their policies are working but that it is up to them to ensure the American people are aware of what the administration is doing to strengthen the economy. 

They point to low unemployment numbers, a growing economy and widespread vaccinations against the coronavirus that have allowed the country to go without restrictions despite recent upticks in cases.

Still, rising costs have hampered Biden and his team for months. Prices of gasoline, food, airfare and other goods have risen dramatically from a year ago, with few signs they are coming down soon. 

The president has pushed a bipartisan infrastructure law to outline how it will help communities and boost the economy at the local level, but his other spending package focused on childcare, health care and climate change is stalled in Congress. 

Adding to Biden’s headaches, supply chain issues have led to a shortage of infant formula, something the administration took steps this week to address. 

Friday’s poll found just 18 percent of Americans believe Biden’s policies have done more to help than hurt the economy, compared to 51 percent who said they’ve hurt more than helped. 

The poll surveyed 1,172 adults from May 12-May 16. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points. 

The AP poll is just the latest in a string of polls that show Biden’s approval rating in the high-30 percent or low-40 percent range. Concerns about inflation and the economy have been at the forefront of those figures. 

Time is running out for Biden and Democrats to see a boost before November’s midterm elections, where the party that holds the White House traditionally loses seats. Democrats hold narrow majorities in both the House and Senate, meaning significant losses would imperil Biden’s agenda for the next two years. 

Tags 2022 midterms AP poll Biden approval rating Job approval
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