Poll shows economic situation speaks against Biden

President Joe Biden smiled recently after touring Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s facility under construction in Phoenix. Biden faces consistent but critical assessments of his leadership and the national economy as his second year in the White House draws to a close. (Photo from AP file/Ross D. Franklin)

After his party’s better-than-expected midterm election performance, President Joe Biden faces consistent but critical assessments of his leadership and the national economy.

A new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 43% of American adults say they approve of the way Biden is handling his job as president, while 55% disagree. That’s similar to October, just weeks before the Nov. 8 election, which most Americans saw as crucial to the country’s future.

Only about a quarter say the nation is moving in the right direction or the economy is in good shape. Both metrics were largely negative throughout the year as inflation tightened its grip, but were more positive for much of Biden’s first year in office.

Mishana Conlee said she’s trying to be optimistic about the year ahead but thinks things are going down the drain because “our president is incompetent” and not mentally fit for the White House. The 44-year-old from South Bend, Indiana, said she was frustrated with escalating expenses living paycheck-to-paycheck as a nutritionist in a nursing home.

“The more I work, the more I get stuck,” Conlee said. “That’s just all there is to it.”

She doesn’t blame Biden for the state of inflation, but “I have a feeling he’s not doing anything to change it,” said Conlee, an independent who voted for former President Donald Trump. Biden ‘doing us no good’

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The Biden administration, in its second year in the White House, enjoyed economic growth, a string of legislative victories, and relative success for the president’s party in the midterm elections. But that has yet to lead to rave reviews from a pessimistic public.

“I don’t understand why his approval ratings are so low,” says 56-year-old Sarah Apwisch, emphasizing the administration’s investments in infrastructure and computer chip technology.

Apwisch acknowledges it’s been “a tough year” and that prices are higher, but is hopeful about interim results as a Republican-turned-Democrat and worries about the impact of the Make America Great Again movement on the GOP makes.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” said the Three Rivers, Michigan resident who works for the finance department of a market research firm. She’s excited for Democrats to push a far-reaching agenda, including codifying abortion rights.

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