As inflation keeps rising and recession fears loom, a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that Joe Biden is currently in the worst shape of his presidency.
The survey of 1,541 US adults, which was conducted from June 10-13, found that if another presidential election were held today, more registered voters say they would cast ballots for Donald Trump (44%) than for Biden (42%) — even though the House Jan. 6 committee has spent the last week linking Trump to what it called a “seditious conspiracy” to overturn the 2020 election and laying the groundwork for possible criminal prosecution.
Since Biden took office, no previous Yahoo News/YouGov poll has shown him trailing Trump (though Biden’s most recent leads have been within the margin of error, like this one is for Trump). One year ago, Biden led Trump by 9 percentage points. In 2020, Biden won the White House by more than 7 million votes.
Yet Biden’s job approval rating has been atrophying for much of the last year, and the new survey shows that it has never been weaker. A full 56% of Americans now disapprove of the president’s performance — the highest share to date — while just 39% approve. Three weeks ago, those numbers were 53% and 42%, respectively.
On average, Biden’s job approval scores are now a few points worse than Trump’s were at the parallel stage of his presidency.
Among all Americans, Trump (43%) now has a higher personal favorability rating than Biden (40%) as well. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of independents (64%) have an unfavorable opinion of Biden, and just 28% say they would vote for him over Trump.
The bad news for Biden comes as prices continue to increase at the fastest pace in 40 years, upending expectations and overshadowing other concerns. According to the poll, 40% of registered voters (up from 33% last month) now say inflation is “the most important issue to you when thinking about this year’s election” — more than four times the number for any other issue.
Politically, this is crippling for Biden. A full 61% of voters disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy (up 58% last month), and Republicans now hold a 15-point advantage among voters on the question of which party would do a better job handling the economy (up from 11 points last month).
In recent days, a series of stories questioning whether Biden will run for reelection in 2024 — and quoting concerned Democratic sources — have surfaced in the press. The concern is not limited to party officials. Just 21% of Americans — down from 25% three weeks ago, and the lowest number to date — say Biden should run again. But perhaps more strikingly, a greater share of 2020 Biden voters now say he shouldn’t run again (40%) than say he should (37%). Last month, those numbers were reversed.
In contrast, the clear majority of Trump voters (57%) say Trump should mount another bid. Just 21% say he shouldn’t. And while 57% of independents say Trump shouldn’t try to make a comeback in 2024, far more — a full 76% — say the same about Biden.
The Yahoo News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,541 US adults online from June 10 to 13, 2022. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as the 2020 presidential vote (or nonvote) and voter registration status. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US adults. The margin of error is approximately 2.9%.