President Biden’s ratings on COVID-19 and the economy are sinking and his overall approval has stabilized at a low level of 41%, according to the CNBC All-America Economic survey released Friday.
Republicans also enjoy a 10-point lead, 44%-34%, over Democrats when Americans are asked which party should control Congress — up from a 2-point lead in October and far above the 4-point high for the GOP recorded in CNBC and NBC surveys over the past two decades.
Taken together, the results spell trouble for the president and his party as they navigate a big-spending agenda and try to bat away inflation and the coronavirus. Off-year elections tend to result in losses for the incumbent party, but the survey augurs devastating losses unless Democrats, who enjoy narrow control of Congress, can things around.
“If the election were tomorrow, it would be an absolute unmitigated disaster for the Democrats,″ Jay Campbell, partner at Hart Research Associates and the Democratic pollster for the survey, told CNBC.
White House officials insist the economy is on the upswing and say new data on prices, expected Friday, will largely be backward-looking.
Still, the economy is weighing down Mr. Biden’s approval.
CNBC found 37% approve and 56% disapprove of his handling of the economy, down from 40%-54% in a second-quarter survey.
Pollsters said Mr. Biden’s handling of the coronavirus is underwater, 46% approval to 48% disapproval, for the first time.
The president received high marks for his early handling of the pandemic, as case rates fell and vaccines were free and plentiful in the early months.
But shifting mask guidance and the onset of the delta variant over the summer worsened the picture. Mr. Biden’s decision to issue vaccine mandates has gotten mixed reviews and sparked court fights.
CNBC said inflation has eclipsed the coronavirus as the number-one issue for Americans, with those two followed by immigration, crime and climate change.
Democrats are seeing slippage on the issues and in key political regions, the pollsters said.
For instance, people who think climate change is the number one issue preferred Democrats by a 59-point margin in October. Now, that margin has fallen to 33 points.
For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.