How does the economy weigh on President Joe Biden’s job approval rating?
New Deseret News/Hinckley Institute poll found nearly two-thirds of Utahns disapprove of Biden’s job performance
Nearly two-thirds of Utahns disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of the economy as he tries to assure voters across the country that it is strong ahead of the midterm election.
A new Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll also found that Biden’s overall job approval rating continues to languish in the Beehive State.
While eating an ice cream cone at a shop in Portland, Oregon, last weekend, the president told reporters “our economy is strong as hell.” Biden went on to say inflation is worldwide.
“The problem is the lack of economic growth and sound policy in other countries, not so much ours,” he said.
Critics called his comments “tone deaf” as Americans continue to pay more for gas, groceries, housing and health care. Last week’s report from the U.S. Department of Labor showed the consumer price index rose 0.4% in September and is up 8.2% from a year ago.
Mountain West states, including Utah, continued to see the highest regional inflation in the country in September, coming in at 9.6% up year over year.
Inflation is the top issue on voters’ minds as they head to the polls Nov. 8 — early voting has started in some states — in an election that will determine whether Democrats hold on to their slim majority in Congress.
Utah’s four Republican congressmen facing Democratic challengers aren’t in danger of losing their seats. GOP Sen. Mike Lee has made inflation the focus of his campaign as he tries to fend off stiff competition from independent Evan McMullin.
Biden is releasing 15 million barrels of oil from the nation’s strategic reserves to bring down gas prices, a move some see as play to boost Democrats’ chances at the ballot box.
“It’s not politically motivated at all,” Biden told reporters Wednesday. He said it’s to make sure there’s oil to produce enough gas in the U.S., while moving to provide for alternative energies.
A new Deseret News/Hinckley Institute poll found 63% of Utahns disapprove of Biden’s performance regarding his handling of the economy, including nearly half who strongly disapprove. Only 36% approve, while 2% don’t know.
The disapproval rating balloons to 77% among voters in the survey who identified themselves as Republicans. Only 18% of self-identified Democrats in the poll disapprove of Biden’s work on the economy, while 73% approve.
The poll also showed a large majority of wage earners across the income scale disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy.
Dan Jones & Associates conducted the survey of 801 registered Utah voters from Oct. 3-6. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percentage points.
Biden’s economic advisers told him last week that the U.S. remains in a strong position to bring down inflation and maintain a resilient job market, despite global economic challenges associated with inflation around the world. Biden’s economic plan also continues to position the U.S. economy for stronger growth and investment, according to the White House.
The economy is likely a factor the president’s poor approval rating in Utah, though it has been low the entire time he has been in office, including dipping below 30% earlier this year.
The new Deseret News/Hinckley Institute poll shows 37% of voters in the state approve of Biden’s performance in the White House while 59% disapprove.
Utahns give Biden lower marks than Americans overall. As of Wednesday, Biden had a 42.3% approval rating and 53.2% disapproval mark nationally, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average.
In the Utah survey, 87% of Democrats approve of the president’s job performance compared to 21% of Republicans. Respondents who self-identified as conservatives overwhelmingly disapprove, while self-identified liberals overwhelmingly approve. Moderates were right down the middle, with 50% approving of Biden’s work in the White House and 42% disapproving.