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Support for Biden erodes among Democrats as US looks beyond pandemic


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NEW YORK, June 30 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden has seen an erosion of support since April, mainly from his fellow Democrats, as his administration struggles with Congress to keep his election promises and increasingly more Americans worried about uneven economic recovery, Reuters / Ipsos polls show.

A national opinion poll from June 11 to 17 shows that Biden is still more popular than his Republican predecessor Donald Trump: 55% of adults approve of Biden’s performance in power and 65% like his response to the coronavirus pandemic. At this point, four years ago, about 36% of adults approved of Trump’s professional performance.

However, a growing number of Americans disapprove of Biden’s leadership on the economy, gun violence and taxation, with the biggest drop coming from Biden’s Democratic Party, particularly those under 40, non-white Democrats or those who do not have a university. degree.

The economy has replaced healthcare and illness as a major concern, with almost a quarter of adults polled calling it the most important problem. A majority of Americans are worried about the rising cost of living, and the public is almost equally divided on what the government should be doing to make things better, the poll found.

Forty-eight percent of those polled said they approved of Biden’s handling of the economy, down 4 points from a similar survey in April. The number of Americans disapproving of Biden’s economic record rose 4 points to 43%.

Democratic pollster Ryan Pougiales said many people still feel like they are far from normalcy.

“There is a huge impatience” with the economy, said Pougiales. “Everyone was confined to their homes. Many have lost their jobs or loved ones.

Only 35% of the country think the US economy is heading in the right direction, and 44% say they are “very concerned” about the continued rise in prices, according to the Reuters / Ipsos poll.

Among Democrats, 78% said they approved of Biden’s economic plan, down 7 points from April, while the number of Democrats who disapproved of his economic plan rose 6 points to 15%. That includes an 11-point drop in approval among Democrats under 40, an 8-point drop in approval among minority Democrats, and Democrats without a college degree.

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks accompanied by US Attorney General Merrick Garland, after a panel discussion with advisers on measures to reduce gun violence in the United States, at the White House in Washington, United States, on June 23, 2021. REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst / File Photo

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Despite an expected 7% growth in the economy this year, government statistics show that the post-pandemic employment recovery has lagged the most among racial and ethnic minorities and those without a university education.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment among the black community was 9.1% in May, for example, compared to 5.1% for whites. The unemployment rate for college graduates was 3.2% in May, less than half the unemployment rate of 6.8% for high school graduates alone.

THE CHALLENGES OF BIDEN

The challenge for Biden will be finding workable solutions while keeping his party united, including many Democrats who initially favored more liberal candidates like US Senator Bernie Sanders, as well as racial minorities and less educated people.

“He’s in a tough spot with respect to the economy,” said Donald Green, a political scientist at Columbia University. “His coalition ranges from people in high tech industries to suburban voters to more mainstream Democrats. They all want different things from the economy.”

Meanwhile, the number of Americans who endorsed Biden’s stance on gun violence fell 8 points overall and 11 points among Democrats from April to June.

The erosion of support for Biden coincides with Democrats struggling to get significant parts of his platform through Congress. They failed this month to generate enough support for federal voting rights legislation, and the future of a $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure plan is still in flux after months. negotiations with the Republicans.

Biden also faces growing impatience from gun safety activists who want the president to keep a series of campaign pledges to stem an “epidemic” of gun violence. He pledged this month to prosecute illegal gun traffickers and increase federal funding and support for local law enforcement as homicide rates rise in major cities.

Elaine Kamarck, a senior researcher at the Brookings Institution, said many Americans remain obsessed with the coronavirus, an area where Biden remains strong. As the pandemic recedes, the economy will continue to recover, and that would be a victory for Biden, Kamarck said.

“Right now the dynamic is this: you manage the virus and you manage the economy,” she said.

Reporting by Chris Kahn in New York; Additional reporting by Howard Schneider in Washington; Editing by Soyoung Kim and Grant McCool

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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