Not only has President Joe Biden's approval rating fallen to just 42%, but 71% of Americans — and even half of Democrats — say the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to the latest NBC News poll.
"What people voted for was stability and calm, and what they got was instability and chaos," NBC's Democrat pollster Peter Hart said.
The numbers — just one year before the midterm elections — are sounding alarms for Democrats as they trail Republicans on the economy, inflation, and immigration, and have even lost ground on tried-and-true Democrat issues like education and the coronavirus.
"Democrats face a country whose opinion of President Biden has turned sharply to the negative since April," NBC's Democrat pollster Jeff Horwitt said.
"The promise of the Biden presidency — knowledge, competence, and stability in tough times — have all been called into question."
The 42% approval is a 7-point drop since August, when Biden's military was completing its deadly and heavily criticized unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan. And much of that drop is from Democrats turning sour on the president, according to the poll.
Approval of Biden's handling of the economy has also dropped 7 points since August, as just 40% of Americans approve on that issue now.
A large majority of Republicans (93%) and independents (70%) say the country is headed in the wrong direction under Biden, but most alarming is that number is close to half of Democrats (48%) now, too.
"When you see a wrong track of 71%, it is a flashing red light," NBC's Republican pollster Bill McInturff said. "These folks are telling us that this is not going well."
Also, a majority of Americans (53%) say the country's best years are behind it.
Still, NBC's poll found more registered voters prefer a Democrat-controlled Congress (47%) compared to having Republicans in charge (45%).
There is momentum potentially on Republicans' side, as 69% of those registered voters have a high level of interest in the midterm elections — an 11-point edge on Democrats (58%).
Republicans have a double-digit advantage on the following issues, according to the poll:
- Border security (27 points).
- Inflation (24 points).
- Crime (22 points).
- National security (21 points).
- Economy (18 points).
- Being effective and getting things done (13 points).
The NBC News poll was conducted Oct. 23-26 among 1,000 adults (820 registered voters) with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
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