WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden’s public approval rating edged up to 42%, its highest level since June, as inflation has eased in the United States and job growth has stayed strong, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed.
Biden’s popularity had suffered since the first days of his presidency in early 2021, declining almost steadily until the May-July period of last year, when it touched as low as 36%.
Since then, his approval level has risen gradually, with this week’s 42% job approval up from 41% recorded a month earlier. The Reuters/Ipsos poll has a margin of error of three percentage points either way.
Biden’s approval also remains quite low by historic standards. In past decades, presidents only occasionally went through extended periods with approval as low as that of Biden, although Donald Trump spent much of his 2017-2021 presidency with similar levels of approval and at points sank even lower, hitting 33% in December 2017.
Biden, 80, is expected to launch another run for the White House in the coming weeks. The small upswing in his popularity comes as the pace of consumer price increases has slowed to 6.4% in the 12 months through January, from 9.1% in June.
He is expected to unveil a budget proposal this week that could highlight goals for a second term, which are expected to include efforts to protect and possibly expand the social safety net while also reducing the federal deficit by taxing wealthy Americans more.
Biden’s administration is currently defending in court an program to forgive some student loans made by the federal government, and the Reuters/Ipsos poll showed sharp partisan divisions on the issue, much like they have on Biden’s own performance.
Eighty-one percent of Democrats support the federal government’s loan forgiveness program, compared to 29% of Republicans. Similarly, 81% of Democratic respondents said they approve of Biden’s performance, though only 10% of Republicans said the same.
Eighty-four percent of Republican respondents said they supported making it harder for migrants on the U.S. southern border to seek asylum in the United States, compared to just 35% of Democrats.
Partisan divisions in the poll were less pronounced on whether federal courts should overturn government approval of a medication used for miscarriage and abortion care. On that question, 70% of respondents – including 82% of Democrats and 53% of Republicans – said they opposed a court intervention banning the medication, mifepristone, nationwide.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted throughout the United States, gathered responses from 1,023 adults, using a nationally representative sample.
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Berkrot)