Biden’s approval rating is now lower than any other modern president’s at this point ... except one

I’ll give you one guess as to who that other president is

It’s been nine months since President Joe Biden took office and there’s still about one year until the midterm elections, and most Americans don’t think the country is on the right track.

An NBC News poll released Sunday found Biden’s approval rating sliding from 53% in April to 42% in October, and for the first time, NBC News polling found a majority — 54% — disapprove of the job Biden’s doing. The poll also found 71% of Americans believe the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction, including 93% of Republicans, 70% of independents and 48% of Democrats.

With the exception of former President Donald Trump, whose Gallup approval rating averaged 37% during fall 2017, Biden is faring worse than any modern president at this point in his presidency, NBC News found.

Only 40% approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, although the U.S. added more than 4.5 million new jobs since Biden took office, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. That’s more than any modern president, and it came as businesses reopened following the rollout of the vaccine. However, rising costs and global supply chain issues have Americans pessimistic about the economy.

The poll also found a slim 51% majority approve of Biden’s handling of COVID-19, a steep drop from the 69% who approved back in April, before the delta variant, breakthrough cases and low vaccination rates in some regions extended the pandemic longer than hoped.

Biden has seen his agenda stalled in Congress as progressive and moderate Democrats debate the final price tag of his domestic and climate spending bill. House Democrats said they could vote on a $1.75 trillion version of the bill this week, but in the Senate, they’ll still need sign-off from two moderates, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. Biden said during his remarks in Glasgow for a UN climate summit that the legislation would “make historic investments in clean energy” and create jobs.

Why Biden’s approval rating isn’t recovering
How Republicans plan to beat ‘Biden Democrats’ and take back Congress
Some Republicans think this issue will tank their party in the midterms

While a lot can change between now and Election Day 2022, should Americans’ negative outlook about the direction of the country continue, Democrats could have an even harder time holding onto Congress. The party in power historically loses seats in the midterms, and Democrats who hoped to ride the coattails of a popular president to reelection next year using a “Biden Democrat” playbook might need to find a different strategy.

Republicans could face their own challenges next year should Trump-endorsed far-right candidates win their primaries only to go on face more moderate voters in the general election.

Though neither Biden nor Trump will be on the ballot, about 2 in 10 registered voters said their vote next year will be a signal about how they feel about the current or former president. The NBC News poll found 20% said their vote next year will be a signal of their opposition to Trump, and 21% said it would be a signal of their opposition Biden. A 52% majority of registered voters said their vote won’t be a signal of opposition to either man.