By Megan Brenan of Gallup
President Joe Biden’s job approval rating among Democrats has tumbled 11 percentage points in the past month to 75%, the worst reading of his presidency from his own party. This drop has pushed his overall approval rating down four points to 37%, matching his personal low.
At the same time, Biden’s approval among independents has declined four points, to 35%, while Republicans’ rating remains unchanged, at just 5%.
After ranging from 49% to 57% during the first eight months of his presidency, Biden’s approval rating has been mired in the low 40s for much of the past two years. Including the latest 37% job rating and an identical reading in April, Biden’s approval has fallen below 40% four times in the 33 readings Gallup has taken since he took office.
The latest downturn in Biden’s job rating, from an Oct. 2-23 Gallup poll, comes in the wake of the Oct. 7 surprise attack on Israel by Hamas militants that resulted in at least 1,400 deaths and more than 200 kidnappings. The attack by Hamas precipitated a counteroffensive by Israel, which has resulted in an estimated 5,000 deaths in Gaza thus far while also setting off a humanitarian crisis.
Immediately after the attack, Biden pledged “rock solid and unwavering” support for Israel from the U.S., and he subsequently visited the country on Oct. 18 to reiterate that message. But Biden has faced criticism from some members of his party for aligning too closely with Israel and not doing enough for the Palestinians. Some prominent Democratic lawmakers and protesters around the U.S. have called for Biden to do more to help the millions of Palestinians who are in need of humanitarian aid as Israel attempts to eradicate Hamas.
Early this year, Gallup found that for the first time in the U.S., Democrats’ sympathies for the Palestinians outpaced those for the Israelis. Although the survey is not designed to allow for statistically reliable estimates for any subset of the three-week polling period, the daily results strongly suggest that Democrats’ approval of Biden fell sharply in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas and Biden’s promise of full support for Israel on the same day. Biden’s current 75% approval rating among Democrats is well below the 86% average from his own party throughout his presidency.
Meanwhile, Biden’s approval rating from Republicans has been consistently low and in the single digits for more than two years, while his rating from independents has been more variable but generally weak since July 2021.
Democrats’ current rating of Biden is four points lower than Republicans’ lowest rating of Donald Trump during his presidency.
Biden’s 11th-Quarter Average Job Rating Is 40.0%
Biden’s job approval rating during his 11th quarter in office -- spanning July 20 through Oct. 19 -- averaged 40.0%, just below last quarter’s 40.7%. His latest quarterly average rating is on the lower end for his presidency but is slightly higher than his lowest, which was 39.7% in his ninth quarter earlier this year (Jan. 20 through April 19).
Biden’s average quarterly approval rating has not risen above 42.0% since his third quarter in office, when it registered 44.7%. His average ratings in the first two quarters of his presidency were 56.0% and 53.3%.
Biden’s 11th-quarter average approval rating is worse than the same period’s rating for all but one of the 11 post-World War II U.S. presidents elected to their first term. Jimmy Carter’s 31.4% 11th-quarter average rating was recorded in 1979 during a nationwide energy crisis and high gas prices.
Five presidents registered majority-level 11th-quarter average approval ratings, ranging from 50.5% to 72.7%: Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. The other four presidents averaged 40.7% (Trump), 41.0% (Barack Obama), 44.4% (Ronald Reagan) and 46.4% (Bill Clinton).
[ZH: On a side note, here is Trump's approval rating overlaid with Biden's for the same period of their term...]
Biden’s immediate and decisive show of support for Israel following the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas appears to have turned off some in his own party, resulting in Democrats’ worst assessment of the president since he took office. Biden’s overall approval rating likewise matches his personal low. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict comes at a time when Americans remain pessimistic about the economy, the Biden administration is struggling to deal with increasing numbers of migrants attempting to enter the country, and debate continues about how much aid to provide to Ukraine in its war with Russia.
As events in the Middle East continue to unfold and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens, Biden’s guidance on Israel could affect not only the outcome of the war but also how he is viewed at home.