Biden’s approval wanes amidst economic challenges and Israeli policy scrutiny

A dive into the factors influencing President Biden's declining approval ratings, including economic concerns and contentious foreign policy decisions.

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President Joe Biden’s approval rating has plummeted to its lowest point since his inauguration. A recent Monmouth University poll indicates that only one-third of Americans currently approve of his presidency. This drop coincides with the administration’s decision to expedite weapon deliveries to Israel, amid its ongoing siege of Gaza, sparking a complex debate about U.S. foreign policy and domestic concerns.

The downward trend in Biden’s approval ratings is a reflection of several factors, including economic issues and foreign policy decisions. The Monmouth University poll’s findings are particularly significant given the context of global and national challenges facing the Biden administration.

According to the Monmouth University poll, Biden’s approval rating stands at a mere 34 percent. This figure contrasts starkly with the 61 percent disapproval rate, marking the lowest approval of his term. Previously, Biden’s approval had dipped to 36 percent in June 2022, during a period of record inflation, but even that figure pales in comparison to the latest data.

The fluctuations in Biden’s approval rating have been significant over the past year. In July 2023, his approval had rebounded to 44 percent, suggesting a temporary recovery. However, this resurgence was short-lived, as the latest figures indicate a sharp 10-point drop, despite inflation rates remaining steady.

Inflation remains a pivotal issue impacting Biden’s approval. Patrick Murray, President of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, attributes the low approval ratings largely to the public’s concerns about inflation. However, this singular focus does not fully explain the recent decline, as disapproval of Biden’s handling of inflation has risen even though the inflation rate itself has not increased notably in recent months.

This disconnection between the steady inflation rate and the growing public discontent suggests other underlying factors at play. Economic stability and the cost of living continue to be critical concerns for many Americans, overshadowing other achievements or efforts by the administration.

Biden’s unwavering support for Israel, particularly during its military operations in Gaza, might also be influencing his approval ratings. While the Monmouth poll did not directly query respondents on this issue, other surveys offer insights. For instance, a Pew Research poll around the same time frame indicated that 21 percent of Americans felt Biden was excessively favoring Israelis in his policies.

This sentiment is echoed in the Reuters/Ipsos poll, which showed a nearly 10-point drop in public support for Israel since the onset of its latest military actions in Gaza. Notably, this shift in public opinion is occurring within Biden’s core support base, with more Democrats expressing sympathy for Palestine than Israel in a recent Gallup poll.

The American public’s perspective on the Gaza conflict and U.S. involvement is increasingly aligning with human rights considerations. Data for Progress poll findings reveal that a significant majority of voters, including a substantial portion of Democrats, favor a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Moreover, the same polls suggest that Americans, particularly Democrats, believe U.S. aid to Israel should be contingent on the latter’s adherence to U.S. human rights standards. This sentiment reflects a growing concern among voters about the ethical implications of U.S. foreign policy decisions.

Despite the public’s growing unease about the situation in Gaza, the Biden administration has continued its military support for Israel. Reports confirm the use of American-supplied weapons in the bombardment of Gaza, raising ethical and humanitarian concerns.

Biden’s administration has publicly acknowledged the possibility of war crimes being committed by Israel, yet it has simultaneously worked to facilitate weapon deliveries. This dichotomy between public statements and behind-the-scenes actions raises questions about the administration’s stance on human rights and international law.

Biden’s handling of domestic issues, notably inflation and immigration, has also contributed to his dwindling approval ratings. The Monmouth poll indicates a strong public disapproval of his approach to these challenges. With inflation and border security being top concerns, the administration’s policies in these areas have not resonated well with a significant portion of the electorate.

While the administration has attempted to highlight positive economic indicators, the disconnect between these data points and the public’s perception of their financial situation is evident. The struggle to balance economic recovery with inflation control continues to be a central challenge for Biden.

Efforts by the Biden administration to reverse the trend of low approval ratings have focused on showcasing his economic record. Despite pointing to indicators such as cooling inflation and a robust job market, these arguments have yet to resonate with a majority of voters.

The Monmouth poll reveals a stark reality: only a small fraction of Americans feel their financial situation is improving, while a significant percentage report struggling to maintain their current financial status. This perception gap underscores the challenges Biden faces in convincing the public of the effectiveness of his economic policies.

The Monmouth University poll also sheds light on the dismal approval ratings for Congress and its leaders. Approval for Congress is at its lowest in over a year, with key leaders like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Mike Johnson receiving low ratings.

This general dissatisfaction with Congressional leadership mirrors the broader discontent with federal governance. The public’s disapproval extends beyond the executive branch, encompassing a wider disillusionment with political leadership in the U.S.

President Joe Biden’s administration faces a confluence of challenges, as reflected in his all-time low approval ratings. Economic pressures, domestic policy issues, and controversial foreign policy decisions have all played a role in shaping public opinion. As the administration navigates these turbulent waters, the complex interplay of these factors continues to influence the political landscape.

Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, encapsulates the situation: “There is political danger in pushing a message that basically tells people their take on their own situation is wrong.”

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