Monmouth Poll: Biden Approval Rating Down to 48%

Biden

Joe Biden’s job rating has taken a dip as progress on his spending plans has stalled. The latest Monmouth (“Mon-muth”University Poll finds a majority of the American public continues to support these plans despite concerns about a potential rise in consumer prices as a result. One question is whether the plans should be passed with or without bipartisan support. A sense that the president has not quite met expectations for boosting the middle class may factor into his strategy on passing these bills.

Biden currently holds a job rating of 48% approve and 43% disapprove. This is down from his 54% approve and 41% disapprove rating in April. The president gets a positive rating from 86% of Democrats (down from 95%), 36% of independents (down from 47%), and 19% of Republicans (up from 11%). Prior Biden approval levels registered 51% in March and 54% in January.

“Biden’s rating is still in net positive territory, but it seems to have taken a dip with the growing uncertainty that his signature spending plans will be enacted,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Biden’s large spending plans remain broadly popular, including the Covid stimulus plan passed early in his term (60% support), his proposed infrastructure package (68%), and his proposal to expand access to health care, college, paid leave and other services (61%). The current results are nearly identical to prior polls taken this year.

Just under half (46%) say these proposed plans should be passed as is, even if they do not get bipartisan support. This position is held by 80% of Democrats, but just 36% of independents and 18% of Republicans agree. Another 22% of Americans say the plans should be significantly cut to get backing from both parties and 24% say they should not be passed at all even with bipartisan support.

“The plans are broadly popular, but the path to getting there is not so clear-cut. This is one of those situations where the administration has to weigh short-term blowback in public opinion against what they hope will be long-term gains,” said Murray.

A central economic criticism of Biden’s plans is that the spending will lead to spiraling inflation. Most Americans express some level of concern that these plans could lead to inflation, including nearly half (47%) who are very concerned about this possibility and 24% who are somewhat concerned. Those who are at least somewhat concerned about prices rising due to the proposed spending include majorities of Republicans (93%), independents (70%), and Democrats (55%).

“Concerns about possible inflation do not appear to undercut overall public support for these spending plans. That might be because many Americans expect the pros will outweigh the cons,” said Murray. He added, “Right now, Biden is not quite meeting the public’s expectations for helping the middle class. His calculation may be that the country is willing to accept some price increases in return for a more robust economy and wider array of support programs.”

About 1 in 5 (19%) Americans say middle-class families have benefited from Biden’s policies a lot and another 32% say they have benefited a little, while 36% say the middle class have not benefited at all. These results are less positive than when Biden first took office. In January, 30% of the public expected the middle class would benefit a lot from his policies, 39% said a little, and 27% said not at all. The current results on this question are not much different than during most of his predecessor’s term. Midway into Donald Trump’s presidency, 18% said his policies benefited the middle class a lot, 37% a little, and 36% not at all (April 2019). Trump started out with much less favorable marks on this metric (11% a lot, 25% a little, and 53% not at all in December 2017), but he ended his term with somewhat more positive ratings (32% a lot, 33% a little, and 32% not at all in January 2021).

The poll also finds that most Americans (58%) report their current financial situation is basically stable, while 24% are struggling and 14% say their finances are improving. These results are about where public attitudes stood at this time last year (61% stable, 22% struggling, 17% improving in late June 2020), but are slightly different than two years ago when more people said their financial situation was getting better (54% stable, 20% struggling, 25% improving in April 2019).

The poll also finds the public’s job rating for Congress has dropped to 21% approve and 65% disapprove from 35% approve and 56% disapprove in April. Congressional approval had been hovering between 30% and 35% since Biden took office. The current reading is in line with Monmouth polls through most of the Trump years, when approval ranged between 16% and 25% except for two 32% marks in the early months of the pandemic last year. The percentage of Americans who say the country is headed in the right direction (37%) versus the wrong track (57%) has also declined somewhat after hitting an eight-year high in April (46% right direction and 50% wrong track).

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from June 9 to 14, 2021 with 810 adults in the United States.  The question results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

 

 

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS     

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

1.     Do you approve or disapprove of the job Joe Biden is doing as president?

  TREND:

June
2021

April
2021

March
2021

Jan.
2021

Approve

48%

54%

51%

54%

Disapprove

43%

41%

42%

30%

(VOL) No opinion

9%

5%

8%

16%

  (n)

(810)

(800)

(802)

(809)

2.     Do you approve or disapprove of the job the U.S. Congress is doing?

  TREND:

June
2021

April
2021

March
2021

Jan.
2021

Approve

21%

35%

30%

35%

Disapprove

65%

56%

59%

51%

(VOL) No opinion

15%

9%

11%

14%

(n)

(810)

(800)

(802)

(809)

  TREND:

Continued

Nov.
2020

Early June
2020

May
2020

April
2020

Feb.
2020

Jan.
2020

Dec.
2019

Nov.
2019

Sept.
2019

Aug.
2019

June
2019

May
2019

April
2019

March
2019

Jan.
2019

Approve

23%

22%

32%

32%

20%

24%

22%

23%

21%

17%

19%

20%

24%

23%

18%

Disapprove

64%

69%

55%

55%

69%

62%

65%

64%

68%

71%

69%

71%

62%

68%

72%

(VOL) No opinion

13%

9%

13%

13%

11%

14%

13%

13%

11%

13%

12%

9%

14%

9%

10%

(n)

(810)

(807)

(808)

(857)

(902)

(903)

(903)

(908)

(1,161)

(800)

(751)

(802)

(801)

(802)

(805)

  TREND: Continued

Nov.
2018

Aug.
2018

June
2018

April
2018

March
2018

Jan.
2018

Dec.
2017

Sept.
2017

Aug.
2017

July
2017

May
2017

March
2017

Jan.
2017

Approve

23%

17%

19%

17%

18%

21%

16%

17%

18%

19%

19%

25%

23%

Disapprove

63%

69%

67%

71%

72%

68%

65%

69%

69%

70%

68%

59%

66%

(VOL) No opinion

14%

14%

14%

12%

11%

11%

19%

15%

13%

11%

13%

16%

11%

(n)

(802)

(805)

(806)

(803)

(803)

(806)

(806)

(1,009)

(805)

(800)

(1,002)

(801)

(801)

  TREND: Continued

Sept.
2016*

Aug.
2016*

June
2016*

March
2016

Jan.
2016

Dec.
2015

Oct.
2015

Sept.
2015

Aug.
2015

July
2015

June
2015

April
2015

Jan.
2015

Dec.
2014

July
2013

Approve

15%

14%

17%

22%

17%

16%

17%

19%

18%

18%

19%

21%

18%

17%

14%

Disapprove

77%

78%

76%

68%

73%

73%

71%

71%

72%

69%

71%

67%

70%

73%

76%

(VOL) No opinion

8%

9%

7%

10%

10%

10%

12%

11%

11%

12%

10%

12%

11%

11%

10%

(n)

(802)

(803)

(803)

(1,008)

(1,003)

(1,006)

(1,012)

(1,009)

(1,203)

(1,001)

(1,002)

(1,005)

(1,003)

(1,008)

(1,012)

        * Registered voters

3.     Would you say things in the country are going in the right direction, or have they gotten off on the wrong track?

  TREND:

June
2021

April
2021

March
2021

Jan.
2021

Right direction

37%

46%

34%

42%

Wrong track

57%

50%

61%

51%

(VOL) Depends

3%

2%

4%

3%

(VOL) Don’t know

3%

2%

2%

4%

(n)

(810)

(800)

(802)

(809)

  TREND: Continued

Nov.
2020

Early Sept.
2020

Aug.
2020

Late June
2020

Early June
2020

May
2020

April
2020

March
2020

Feb.
2020

Jan.
2020

Right direction

26%

27%

22%

18%

21%

33%

30%

39%

37%

37%

Wrong track

68%

66%

72%

74%

74%

60%

61%

54%

57%

56%

(VOL) Depends

4%

4%

4%

5%

4%

4%

5%

4%

6%

6%

(VOL) Don’t know

2%

3%

2%

3%

1%

3%

5%

3%

1%

1%

(n)

(810)

(867)

(868)

(867)

(807)

(808)

(857)

(851)

(902)

(903)

  TREND: Continued

Dec.
2019

Nov.
2019

Sept.
2019

Aug.
2019

June
2019

May
2019

April
2019

March
2019

Nov.
2018

Aug.
2018

June
2018

April
2018

March
2018

Jan.
2018

Right direction

32%

30%

30%

28%

31%

29%

28%

29%

35%

35%

40%

33%

31%

37%

Wrong track

56%

61%

61%

62%

62%

63%

62%

63%

55%

57%

53%

58%

61%

57%

(VOL) Depends

8%

7%

6%

8%

6%

4%

7%

6%

7%

6%

3%

5%

6%

3%

(VOL) Don’t know

4%

2%

2%

2%

2%

3%

3%

2%

3%

3%

3%

4%

1%

3%

(n)

(903)

(908)

(1,161)

(800)

(751)

(802)

(801)

(802)

(802)

(805)

(806)

(803)

(803)

(806)

  TREND: Continued

Dec.
2017

Aug.
2017

May
2017

March
2017

Jan.
2017

Aug.
2016*

Oct.
2015

July
2015

June
2015

April
2015

Dec.
2014

July
2013

Right direction

24%

32%

31%

35%

29%

30%

24%

28%

23%

27%

23%

28%

Wrong track

66%

58%

61%

56%

65%

65%

66%

63%

68%

66%

69%

63%

(VOL) Depends

7%

4%

5%

4%

4%

2%

6%

5%

5%

5%

5%

5%

(VOL) Don’t know

3%

5%

3%

5%

2%

3%

4%

3%

3%

2%

3%

4%

(n)

(806)

(805)

(1,002)

(801)

(801)

(803)

(1,012)

(1,001)

(1,002)

(1,005)

(1,008)

(1,012)

        * Registered voters

4.     Thinking about your current financial situation, would you say you are struggling to remain where you are financially, basically stable in your current financial situation, or is your financial situation improving?

  TREND:

June
2021

Late June
2020

Early June
2020

May
2020

April
2020

March
2020

April
2019

April
2018

Jan.
2017

Struggling

24%

22%

20%

23%

26%

26%

20%

24%

29%

Stable

58%

61%

65%

63%

62%

61%

54%

51%

51%

Improving

14%

17%

13%

13%

11%

11%

25%

23%

20%

(VOL) Don’t know

3%

1%

1%

1%

2%

1%

1%

2%

0%

(n)

(810)

(867)

(807)

(808)

(857)

(851)

(801)

(803)

(801)

 

5.     How much have middle class families benefited from President Biden’s policies – a lot, a little, or not at all?

  COMPARISON:

 

 

Benefited under Trump

Benefited under Obama

June
2021

 

 

Jan.
2021

April

2019

April
2018

Dec.
2017

 

 

Jan.

2017

July

2013

A lot

19%

 

 

32%

18%

14%

11%

 

 

24%

12%

A little

32%

 

 

33%

37%

45%

25%

 

 

41%

39%

Not at all

36%

 

 

32%

36%

36%

53%

 

 

33%

46%

(VOL) Don’t know

14%

 

 

3%

9%

5%

11%

 

 

2%

2%

(n)

(810)

 

 

(809)

(801)

(803)

(806)

 

 

(801)

(1,012)

6.     Earlier this year, Congress passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In general, do you support or oppose this plan? [Is that strongly or somewhat support/oppose?]

  TREND:

June
2021

April
2021

March
2021*

Strongly support

39%

43%

35%

Somewhat support

21%

20%

27%

Somewhat oppose

11%

10%

11%

Strongly oppose

27%

24%

23%

(VOL) Don’t know

3%

2%

4%

  (n)

(810)

(800)

(802)

        * March 2021 poll asked about the plan before Congress passed it.

[QUESTIONS 7 & 8 WERE ROTATED]

President Biden recently proposed two other multi-trillion dollar spending plans.

7.     [One is/The other is] an infrastructure plan to be spent on roads, bridges and trains, internet access, power grid improvements, and clean energy projects. In general, do you support or oppose this plan? [Is that strongly or somewhat support/oppose?]

June
2021

  TREND:

June

2021

April
2021*

Strongly support

49%

Support

68%

68%

Somewhat support

19%

Somewhat oppose

8%

Oppose

29%

29%

Strongly oppose

21%

(VOL) Don’t know

3%

(VOL) Don’t know

3%

3%

(n)

(810)

(n)

(810)

(800)

      * April 2021 wording was “President Biden recently proposed a $2 trillion infrastructure plan…”

8.     [One is/The other is] a plan to expand access to healthcare and childcare, and provide paid leave and college tuition support. In general, do you support or oppose this plan? [Is that strongly or somewhat support/oppose?]

June
2021

  TREND:

June

2021

April
2021*

Strongly support

41%

Support

61%

64%

Somewhat support

20%

Somewhat oppose

10%

Oppose

34%

34%

Strongly oppose

24%

(VOL) Don’t know

5%

(VOL) Don’t know

5%

2%

(n)

(810)

(n)

(810)

(800)

      * April 2021 wording was “Biden is also expected to propose a large spending plan …”

9.     What would you like to see happen with these spending plans – pass them as is even if they don’t get bipartisan support, significantly cut them in order to get bipartisan support, or not pass them at all even if they have bipartisan support?

June
2021

Pass them as is

46%

Significantly cut them

22%

Not pass them at all

24%

(VOL) Don’t know

9%

(n)

(810)

10.   How concerned are you that these spending plans could lead to inflation – that is, a big jump in the price of goods and services. Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned about this possibility?

June
2021

Very concerned

47%

Somewhat concerned

24%

Not too concerned

17%

Not at all concerned

11%

(VOL) Don’t know

1%

(n)

(810)

[Q11-39 held for future release.]

 

 

METHODOLOGY

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from June 9 to 14, 2021 with a national random sample of 810 adults age 18 and older. This includes 281 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 529 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone, in English. Telephone numbers were selected through a mix of random digit dialing and list-based sampling. Landline respondents were selected with a modified Troldahl-Carter youngest adult household screen. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The full sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information (ACS 2018 one-year survey). Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field), Dynata (RDD sample), and Aristotle (list sample). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)

Self-Reported

24% Republican

44% Independent

32% Democrat

 

49% Male

51% Female

 

30% 18-34

33% 35-54

38% 55+

 

63% White

12% Black

16% Hispanic

  9% Asian/Other

 

69% No degree

31% 4 year degree

MARGIN OF ERROR

unweighted  sample

moe
(+/-)

TOTAL

 

810

3.5%

REGISTERED VOTER

Yes

758

3.6%

No

52

13.6%

SELF-REPORTED PARTY ID

Republican

193

7.1%

Independent

352

5.2%

Democrat

251

6.2%

IDEOLOGY

Liberal

167

7.6%

Moderate

345

5.3%

Conservative

269

6.0%

GENDER

Male

403

4.9%

Female

407

4.9%

AGE

18-34

133

8.5%

35-54

272

6.0%

55+

401

4.9%

CHILDREN IN HOME

Yes

182

7.3%

No

625

3.9%

RACE

White, non-Hispanic

590

4.0%

Other

197

7.0%

COLLEGE GRADUATE

No degree

416

4.8%

4 year degree

391

5.0%

WHITE COLLEGE

White, no degree

302

5.6%

White, 4 year degree

287

5.8%

INCOME

<$50K

269

6.0%

$50 to <$100K

256

6.1%

 

$100K+

233

6.4%

 

Crosstabs may be found in the PDF file on the report webpage:  https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/reports/monmouthpoll_US_061621/

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