President Joe Biden will hope for better polling results in the new year, as his approval ratings have hit their lowest point heading into the Christmas holidays.
A pair of new polls continue to show Biden hovering near his lowest approval since inauguration day, with independents rapidly fleeing the Democratic president.
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An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that 41% approve of Biden and 55% disapprove, representing a new low since he took office. The poll found that support from independents had dropped 8 points in a single week, with two-thirds of independents disapproving of Biden's performance overall.
One of the president's strongest polling issues had been his handling of COVID-19, but with concerns growing over the omicron variant and case numbers rising, the disease could now be dragging his numbers down rather than bolstering them.
Overall, Biden's approval rating in the poll has slipped 20 points since inauguration day. He is particularly struggling among Hispanics, just 33% of whom said they approve of his performance. However, suburban women, a key constituency in his 2020 Electoral College victory, remain broadly in his corner, with 57% approval.
A separate poll from Morning Consult/Politico looked at what voters thought of Democratic accomplishments. That poll found 41% of respondents saying congressional Democrats had accomplished less than they expected. Ten percent said they'd accomplished more than expected, and 32% said their expectations had been met.
The president experienced early success in this area, signing into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act in March and the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill in November.
But perhaps his furthest-reaching effort, the $2.4 trillion Build Back Better bill, is on life support after the defection of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who said on Sunday he would not vote for it. With all 50 Republican senators united against the bill, Manchin and every other member who caucuses with Democrats would need to give their approval.
Despite the setback, the White House pledges to keep backing the bill in 2022.
"There have been a lot of negotiations leading up to this point,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday. “There will be more negotiations, no doubt about it. Everybody stay tuned and settle in.”
The Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 42% of respondents believe Biden has accomplished less than expected, with 38% saying he has accomplished about what they expected, representing a slightly healthier number compared to congressional Democrats.
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The bill itself scored a small plurality among registered voters. The poll found that 45% either somewhat or strongly supported Build Back Better, while 40% opposed it and 15% had no opinion.
Biden will likely need to see his approval ratings rebound strongly if Democrats hope to keep the House in 2022. The out-of-power party tends to gain seats during midterm elections, especially when the incumbent president isn't popular.
"There are going to be dozens of narrowly Biden-won seats that are very tenuous for Dems in a rough cycle," Cook Political Report analyst Dave Wasserman tweeted about the midterm elections. "The biggest threat to Dems' House majority isn't redistricting; it's Biden's approval rating."