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Biden’s approval hits near low

After several months where his approval rating was trending higher, Biden faces new challenges

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President Joe Biden walks to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

President Joe Biden walks to the Oval Office of the White House after stepping off Marine One, Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, in Washington. Biden’s approval rating has fallen near its lowest point in a new poll.

Patrick Semansky, Associated Press

After several months of seeing his approval rating improve, President Joe Biden’s approval rating has fallen near its lowest point in a new poll.

Biden has the approval of 38% of U.S. adults, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, down from 45% in February. It’s his worst approval since last July when it hit 36%, his lowest showing in the poll since taking office in 2021.

Biden’s drop in approval is driven by softening support from U.S. adults under 45, which has fallen from 47% to 35% since last month; Hispanic adults, which has fallen from 55% to 41%; and Republicans, which has fallen from 12% to 4%.

Biden’s State of the Union address in February gave him an opportunity to tout his administration’s accomplishments, but he faces new challenges, including the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, stubbornly high inflation and rising interest rates.

The poll found 31% of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, and just 21% said they’re optimistic about the direction of the country. Biden’s marks are higher for his handling of foreign policy, at 39%, and climate change, at 41%.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy blamed Biden and Democrats for the country’s economic problems, telling Fox Business, “The reason we have a bank problem is because Democrats spent $5.9 trillion, brought us inflation. With inflation, interest rates go up.”

The Biden administration is launching a national tour this week to promote Biden’s economic agenda and speak about how legislation he signed will help the economy, including the Inflation Reduction Act, CHIPS and Science Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Dubbed the “Investing in America Tour,” Biden will kick it off with an event Tuesday at a North Carolina chips manufacturer.

“Let’s keep building an economy from the middle out and the bottom up,” Biden said Thursday at a White House event marking the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.

Biden has yet to announce his reelection campaign, but so far the only candidate challenging him for the Democratic nomination is Marianne Williamson, an author and perennial candidate.

Biden’s leading Republican opponent, former President Donald Trump, faces possible charges in cases in New York and Georgia and spends more energy attacking his nearest potential Republican rival Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on social media than Biden, Fox News found.

If Biden faces Trump in a rematch, early polling suggests the race could be competitive. A Washington Post-ABC News poll last month found Trump winning 48% to 45%, while a Quinnipiac poll the month before showed Biden up 48% to 46%.