The polls hold scant good news for Joe Biden one year into his presidency

Jan 19, 2022, 3:31 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 3:21 pm
FILE: President Joe Biden speaks on the economy during an event at the South Court Auditorium at Ei...
FILE: President Joe Biden speaks on the economy during an event at the South Court Auditorium at Eisenhower Executive Office Building on November 23, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden announced the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve of the Department of Energy to combat high energy prices which are at a seven-year high across the nation prior to the holiday travel season. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(CNN) — As the first year of Joe Biden’s presidency comes to a close, 41% of Americans approve of the way he’s handling his job while 54% disapprove, according to the latest CNN Poll of Polls.

Biden’s approval ratings in year one declined precipitously over the summer, and held roughly steady in the mid- to low-40s through much of the fall. Some recent polling suggests they may be on the decline again, but there have been relatively few polls since the turn of the new year, making it difficult to determine the trend with any certainty. His current average approval rating is one point below his prior worst reading.

These numbers at the one-year mark of his presidency mean views of Biden are some of the worst for a newly elected president since pollsters began tracking approval ratings. Compared to previous presidents included in CNN or Gallup polling, Biden ranks next to last, with only his immediate predecessor, Donald Trump, ranking lower (40% approved of him in a CNN poll in January 2018). Still, the two other presidents whose end-of-first-year ratings fell below 50% both went on to reelection: Ronald Reagan, who stood at 47% approval, and Barack Obama, at 49%.

Views on Biden are sharply divided along party lines, as were views of Trump. Biden’s support among Democrats remains relatively high, though down modestly from when he first took office. Gallup’s polling over the course of the year, for example, shows a 16-point drop in approval among Democrats to 82% approval — about on par with Trump’s approval rating among Republicans at this point in his term. Among the opposing party, both Biden and Trump began at and held at very low approval ratings, each topping out at 12% approval.

The relatively new phenomenon of polarized presidential perceptions appears to have solidified in the last few years. Per Gallup, which has trends on first-year presidential approval dating back to Dwight Eisenhower, “The last four presidential years — Trump’s second through fourth and Biden’s first — are the four most polarized in Gallup’s polling history.”

But polarization alone does not explain why Biden’s numbers are so low. Here are a few other key data points on the hurdles facing Biden in the second year of his presidency.


  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans say things in the US are going badly. CNN poll in December found that just 38% of adults feel things in the US are going well, while 62% say they are going badly. That’s a worse political environment than all but one facing a president at roughly this stage of their presidency in polling dating back to Jimmy Carter.
  • Americans don’t think Biden has the right priorities. Nearly 6 in 10 Americans said that Biden has not paid enough attention to the country’s most important problems in a CNN poll in November (58%), and in December, large majorities said the US government wasn’t doing enough to address violent crime (76%), inflation (72%) or disruptions in the supply chain (70%).
  • Most people are worn out by the coronavirus. A Monmouth University poll in December found that 60% of adults feel worn out by the changes they’ve had to make in their daily lives due to Covid-19, and that the share who feel Biden is doing a good job of dealing with the coronavirus has dropped to 46%, below 50% for the first time in Monmouth’s polling. Biden’s ratings for handling Covid-19 have generally been better than his overall approval rating.
  • Although Biden’s legislative achievements are popular, few say they’ve had a large impact on their own lives. Polling has generally found broad support for the coronavirus relief package passed early in Biden’s presidency, as well as for the infrastructure bill that passed later in 2021, but relatively few say those accomplishments have made or will make a significant difference in their own lives. In a December NPR/Marist poll, most who received either the stimulus payments sent out earlier in the year or who received the expanded child tax credit that began in the summer say those payments helped just a little or not at all. And an October CNN survey conducted before the infrastructure bill passed found that only 25% said they would personally be better off under Biden’s social safety net and infrastructure bills. The social safety net bill has not passed. Overall, a December CNN survey found 54% said they disapproved of the job Biden was doing helping the middle class.


™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Taylor Goodridge...
Tyler Kingkade, NBC News

Utah boarding school ignored teen’s sickness complaints before she died, ex-staff say

A Native American teenager who died while attending a Utah boarding school for at-risk youth had been sick in the weeks beforehand, but staff had been trained to assume students would lie about being ill and did not try to bring her to the hospital until the day she died, former staff members said in interviews. 
1 day ago
Bed Bath And Beyond is in financial trouble...
Paul R. La Monica and Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

Bed Bath & Beyond says it can no longer pay its debts

(CNN) — The end could be near for struggling retailer Bed Bath & Beyond, as it warned in a regulatory filing Thursday that it received a notice of default from its lender, JPMorgan Chase. Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) plunged more than 20% on the news, to about $2.56 a share. The company […]
1 day ago
The rotation of Earth's core may have paused, scientists in China have suggested. (Adobe Stock via ...
Lianne Kolirin

Earth’s inner core may have stopped turning and could go into reverse, study suggests

The rotation of Earth's inner core may have paused and it could even go into reverse, new research suggests.
1 day ago
A worker rings up a customer at a cash register in a Walmart store on January 24, 2023 in Miami, Fl...
Paul Wiseman, Associated Press

US economy slowed but still grew at 2.9% rate last quarter

The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.9% annual pace from October through December, ending 2022 with momentum despite the pressure of high interest rates and widespread fears of a looming recession.
1 day ago
Chunli Zhao appears for his arraignment at San Mateo Superior court in Redwood City, Calif., on Wed...
Olga R. Rodriguez and Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press

Suspect in Half Moon Bay farm killings faces 7 murder counts

A farmworker accused of killing seven people in shootings at two Northern California mushroom farms has been charged with seven counts of murder.
1 day ago
In an aerial view, San Francisco police officers and F.B.I. agents gather in front of the home of U...
Adam Beam, Associated Press

California judge orders release of footage of Pelosi attack

Footage of the attack on former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband will be released publicly.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
The polls hold scant good news for Joe Biden one year into his presidency