Brighter Economic Mood Isn’t Translating Into Support for Biden

Eight months before the election, Americans feel slightly better about the state of the economy as inflation recedes and the labor market remains stable, but President Biden doesn’t appear to be benefiting.

Among registered voters nationwide, 26 percent believe the economy is good or excellent, according to polling in late February by The New York Times and Siena College. That share is up six percentage points since July. The movement occurred disproportionately among older Democrats, a constituency already likely to vote for Mr. Biden.

And the share of voters saying they approve of the job Mr. Biden is doing in office has actually fallen, to 36 percent in the latest poll, from 39 percent in July.

Inflation has pervaded economic sentiment since mid-2022, confronting voters daily with the price of everything from eggs to car insurance. Even as inflation has been falling since mid-2023 — and wage growth has lately outpaced the rate of price increases, at least on average — many Americans don’t yet see the problem as solved. Nearly two-thirds of registered voters in the Times/Siena poll rated the price of food and consumer goods as poor.

Mr. Biden’s team has pointed to an array of indications that the economy has rebounded remarkably well since he assumed office, including an unemployment rate that has been under 4 percent for two years and a stock market that has set record after record.

But in a persistent trend that has confounded pollsters and economists, those fundamentals largely haven’t been reflected in surveys. Forty percent of those surveyed said the economy was worse than it was a year earlier, compared with 23 percent who thought it was better — even though a narrow majority rated their personal financial situation as good or excellent.

Related Articles

Back to top button