WASHINGTON, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Three weeks from the U.S. midterm elections, President Joe Biden’s approval rating stayed close to the lowest level of his presidency as Americans worried about inflation, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll completed on Tuesday found.
The two-day national poll found that 40% of Americans approve of Biden’s job performance, unchanged from a week earlier.
Biden’s unpopularity is helping drive the view that Republicans will win control of the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 8, though experts say Democrats have a better chance of keeping the Senate. Even controlling just the House, Republicans would be able to bring Biden’s legislative agenda to a halt.
Biden in recent weeks has tried to rally voters around his party’s pledges to protect abortion rights, which were sharply curtailed by the Supreme Court’s decision nearly four months ago to overturn the landmark Roe v Wade ruling.
On Tuesday, he said he will sign a law to codify abortion rights in January if Democrats control the legislature next year.
But public opinion polls have shown voters are much more concerned about the economy, which under Biden has seen the highest rates of inflation since the 1970s and 1980s, a period when a turbulent economy helped Republican Ronald Reagan unseat Democratic President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election.
About one in three respondents in this week’s Reuters/Ipsos poll pointed to the economy as the biggest problem facing America. Only one in ten pointed to the end of national abortion rights.
Taking office in January 2021 in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden’s term has been marked by the economic scars of the global health crisis. This year, his approval rating drifted to as low as 36% in May and June.
The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted online in English throughout the United States, gathered responses from 1,002 adults, including 446 Democrats and 353 Republicans. It has a credibility interval – a measure of precision – of four percentage points. (Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Scott Malone and Rosalba O’Brien)