The latest research by Redfield & Wilton Strategies finds that 46% of Americans disapprove and 37% approve of President Joe Biden’s overall job performance as President. His net approval rating, at -9%, is five points lower than in our polling on 31 October, when 40% approved and 44% disapproved of Biden’s performance. The President’s approval rating has been in sharp decline in recent months, now 19 points below the net +10% rating he received in our 4-5 September poll.
Vice President Kamala Harris’ net approval rating has also experienced a downturn, decreasing a further five points to -10% this week. In our latest poll, 44% disapprove (up 2%) and 34% approve (down 3%) of Kamala Harris’ performance as Vice President, with a further 18% neither approving nor disapproving (up 3%).
On matters of policy, the coronavirus pandemic is now the only area in which the Joe Biden Administration elicits a positive net approval rating. 45% of Americans polled approve and 37% disapprove of the Administration’s performance on the pandemic, resulting in a net approval rating of +8%. Even in this area public approval has been falling over recent weeks, however, and this latest rating represents a further five-point decrease compared to two weeks ago. Nevertheless, the coronavirus pandemic remains the policy area which a plurality (35%) selects when asked to pick the issue on which they think the Joe Biden Administration has performed best.
At +4%, net approval of the Administration’s performance on the environment was still (marginally) positive in our last poll two weeks ago. Now, however, 37% approve and 39% disapprove of the Administration’s performance in this policy area, resulting in a -2% net approval rating (down 6%).
In all other policy areas, Americans also give the current Administration negative net approval ratings, nearly all of which have worsened further compared to two weeks ago. These ratings range from -10% on benefits to -16% on the economy (down 10%), -20% on crime/policing (down 9%), and -24% on immigration (no change). In fact, when asked to directly compare and select the policy area in which they think the Biden Administration has so far performed worst, Americans most commonly pick the economy (29%) and immigration (24%).
Looking ahead to the 2024 Presidential Election, the drop in Americans’ approval of the current Administration is accompanied by a decline in support for Joe Biden. Our latest hypothetical voting intention finds Donald Trump at 44% (up 2%) leading Joe Biden at 39% (down 3%) by 5%. This result marks the first ever lead for Donald Trump over Joe Biden that we have recorded in our national polling, including polling conducted in advance of the 2020 election.
Large majorities of 2020 Donald Trump voters (89%, up 2%) and Joe Biden voters (76%, down 7%) maintain that they would again vote for those respective candidates, though the seven-point decline in support for Biden among 2020 Biden voters is noteworthy.
Given that the setup of the Electoral College already benefits a hypothetical Trump campaign in 2024, that the former President has now also firmly overtaken the current President with regards to the popular vote casts a further shadow over a potential 2024 Biden campaign.
An alternative 2024 Harris campaign also fails to elicit stronger enthusiasm among voters at the moment. If Donald Trump and Kamala Harris were the 2024 nominees, 45% of Americans say they would vote for Donald Trump and 36% say they would vote for Kamala Harris, after weighting by likelihood to vote. Under this scenario, 7% again say they don’t know how they would vote.