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What do Utahns think about President Biden’s handling of the economy?

New Deseret News/Hinckley Institute poll shows two-thirds of voters disapprove of president’s job performance

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President Joe Biden during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, Sunday.

U.S. President Joe Biden listens during a meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. A New Deseret News/Hinckley Institute poll shows a large majority of voters disapprove of Biden’s job performance.

Alex Brandon, Associated Press

Heading into the holidays still facing high prices at the gas pump and in stores along with supply chain issues, two-thirds of Utahns disapprove of how President Joe Biden is handling the U.S. economy.

A new Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll also shows the president’s overall approval rating among Utah voters remains under 40%, where it has stayed since plunging to 29% before his first State of the Union address last February.

In its November report, the Joint Economic Committee, of which Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is the ranking member, said the U.S. economy faces an uncertain near-term future.

“As we head into the holidays, the slowing of the job market does not bode well for the millions of Americans who are struggling to get by. The past two years of rapid price increases will make this Christmas by far the most expensive we have ever seen,” Lee said in a statement.

“Given that reckless spending policies led to skyrocketing prices in the first place, it would be irresponsible for Congress to engage in additional reckless spending this holiday season and make the inflation problem even worse.” 

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Last week, Biden sought to reassure Americans that shelves will be stocked this holiday season despite issues with global supply chains, and that his administration is “using every tool available” to bring down high consumer prices, per CNN.

“If you watched the news recently, you might think the shelves in all our stores are empty across the country, that parents won’t be able to get presents for their children this holiday season,” Biden said. “But here’s the deal: For the vast majority of the country, that’s not what’s happening.”

The poll shows 32.5% of Utahns approve of the president’s performance on the economy, while 65.8% disapprove, including nearly half who strongly disapprove. The numbers are a little worse than they were in an October Deseret News/Hinckley poll.

Biden’s disapproval rating on the economy balloons to 78.2% among those in the survey who identified themselves as Republicans. Conversely, 76.8% of self-identified Democrats say the president is doing a good job.

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Also last week, Biden pushed Congress to pass legislation to avert a rail strike that he said would have had devastating consequences for millions of families and union workers in many industries.

“Our economy is growing and inflation is moderating, and this rail agreement will continue our progress to build an economy from the bottom up and middle out,” the president said in a statement.

As for Biden’s job performance overall, 38.4% of Utahns approve and 59.5% disapprove.

In the poll, 87.9% of Democrats approve of the job Biden is doing, while 73.3% of Republicans disapprove.

While conservatives overwhelmingly disapprove of the president’s job performance and liberals overwhelmingly approve, moderate voters are more evenly split, according to the survey.

Of those in the middle, 50.4% approve and 47.2% disapprove.

Dan Jones & Associates conducted the poll of 802 registered Utah voters Nov. 18-23. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percentage points.

Utahns give Biden lower marks than Americans overall. As of Monday, Biden had a 41.6% approval rating and 53.1% disapproval mark nationally, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average.

A national HarrisX poll conducted for the Deseret News in the past week showed that while Biden and former President Donald Trump are still seen as the leaders of their parties, a majority of voters say both Democrats and Republicans should move on and look for new leadership.