By Jason Lange
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden’s public approval rating edged higher this week, though he remains deeply unpopular, with just six weeks to go before the Nov. 8 midterm elections, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll completed on Tuesday found.
The two-day national poll found that 41% of Americans approve of Biden’s job performance, up from 39% a week earlier.
The president’s sagging popularity, which drifted as low as 36% in May and June, has helped drive expectations that his Democratic Party will lose control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November, though nonpartisan election analysts say they have a better chance of holding the Senate.
Even with control only of the House, Republicans would be able to bring Biden’s legislative agenda to a halt.
Taking office in January 2021 in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden’s term has been marked by the economic scars of the global health crisis, including soaring inflation.
His lowest approval ratings rivaled the lows of his predecessor, Donald Trump, whose popularity bottomed out at 33% in December 2017.
When poll respondents this week were asked to rank the nation’s biggest problems, the economy topped concerns, with four in 10 Republicans and a quarter of Democrats pointing to it as the top issue.
For Republicans, the next most pressing problems were immigration and crime.
Among Democrats, about one in eight saw the environment as the top issue. Crime and the end of national abortion rights also were top concerns.
The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted online in English throughout the United States, gathered responses from 1,004 adults, including 469 Democrats and 367 Republicans. It has a credibility interval – a measure of precision – of four percentage points.
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Berkrot)