Still-slidin' Biden: Job disapproval hits new high in CNBC poll

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Ring out the old, ring in the, um … old again. A change of year hasn’t benefited Joe Biden in the least, nor has the holiday season made anyone fonder of him. The new CNBC/Change Research poll shows a collapse across all fronts, including on a personal basis, and for all of the obvious reasons.

President Joe Biden’s disapproval rating hit a new high in December as more voters signaled their unhappiness with his administration’s supervision of the economy and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fifty-six percent of voters now say they disapprove of the job Biden is doing, the worst such reading of his presidency as he approaches the end of his first year in office, according to new CNBC/Change Research polls. Prior polls in the series showed Biden’s disapproval rating at 54% in early September and 49% in April.

Biden’s approval rating is now at 44%, down from 46% in September and 51% in April.

That’s not even quite an accurate measure of Biden’s collapse. According to the Change Research poll data, Biden rates a 44/56 on job approval, but he scores worse on personal favorability — 38/56. Biden won his office in large part by arguing that he had better character than his chronically unlikable opponent Donald Trump, but Trump scores slightly better than Biden on this question, 38/55.

Even worse for Biden, there isn’t a policy area in which he doesn’t get majority disapproval. In several areas, as you’ll see, Biden gets majorities who strongly disapprove of his performance. CNBC considers this overall result driven by the economy, which is likely true, but this is an across-the-board vote of no confidence:

  • COVID: 45/55 overall, 27/46 strongly
  • Economy: 40/60, 14/51 (!)
  • Personal economics: 34/66, 11/51
  • Stock market: 42/58, 14/39
  • Jobs: 42/58, 19/45
  • Infrastructure: 44/56, 26/43
  • Price of everyday goods: 28/72, 6/54
  • Immigration: 31/69, 7/53
  • Childcare costs: 39/61, 15/42
  • America respected: 43/57, 29/51

Put simply, these are disastrous numbers not just for the White House but for Democrats in general. The border crisis has done tremendous damage to Biden and his allies, who normally score much higher on immigration issues than 31/69. Inflation makes Biden look even worse, and it’s clear that no one’s buying Biden’s claim to have “created” more jobs in the first year of a presidency in history. Everyone except the White House recognizes that these are jobs being recovered, not created, and they’re not being recovered fast enough to buffer supply chains and service slowdowns. That creates pressure on childcare prices as well as prices on everyday goods. And for a president whose strongest portfolio is supposedly foreign policy, Americans are deeply unimpressed so far with Biden’s ability to make America respected. And for good reason.

The poll asks an interesting question, especially in light of the White House’s latest attempts to slough off responsibility for outcomes in these areas. Just how much control does a president have over these problems, anyway? After listening to Biden promise that he could deliver the stars and the moon for the past two years, should anyone be surprised at these answers?

Petards, hoisting, etc etc etc. Biden fully owns every aspect of his collapse, and so do Democrats. The generic congressional poll result is a dead heat at 43-up, a very bad result for Democrats. Even when pressing the undecided to make a choice, Democrats still only lead 45/44 on a question they need to lead by at least five points just to remain competitive.

By the way, this isn’t even the worst polling result out today for Biden. A new USA Today/Suffolk poll has Biden at 40/54, albeit better than their last iteration two months ago, 38/59. That poll is almost entirely behind a paywall, but it’s clear that the CNBC/Change poll isn’t an outlier — and RCP’s aggregate tracking shows that Biden’s collapse continues to accelerate into the new year.