Biden’s approval rating on economy rises among US voters

Biden’s approval rating on economy rises among US voters

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The number of US voters who approve of Joe Biden’s handling of the economy is increasing, but concerns about inflation, including rising fuel prices, could derail his re-election bid, new poll suggests .

The latest monthly poll conducted for the Financial Times and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business found that 41% of registered voters said they approved of Biden’s handling of the economy.

That’s a five-point jump from the previous month, when just 36 percent said they approved, and the highest approval rate since pollsters began asking the question in November .

Biden’s overall approval rating climbed to 43 percent, four points higher than in March and another high since the monthly poll began.

But even as Biden has improved his standing with younger voters, women, independents and Black and Hispanic voters, in particular, since last month’s poll, it highlights warning signs for the president.

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The poll found that 41% of voters trust Donald Trump more than Biden on the economy, compared to 35% who prefer the president. Sixteen percent of registered voters said they did not trust either man to manage the economy.

At the same time, the poll shows that inflation continues to weigh on voter confidence. The latest official data, released last week, showed a 3.5 percent rise in consumer prices for the year to March, more than economists expected.

Nearly four in five voters cited rising prices as one of their top sources of financial stress, and nearly three in four said food prices had the “biggest impact” on their financial situation. The FT-Michigan Ross poll also found a sharp increase in the number of Americans saying the price of gasoline is a strain on their pockets, with 52 percent saying it has a big impact on their financial situation, up from 47 percent last month.

In early April, the U.S. Energy Information Administration raised its monthly forecast for retail gasoline prices, citing increases in wholesale gasoline and crude oil prices. Rising gasoline prices also play a significant role in monthly changes in inflation, according to official figures released last week.

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These findings will nonetheless be welcomed by Biden, who faces persistently low approval ratings, particularly over his handling of the economy, even though the United States enjoys relatively strong growth and a robust job market.

“Voters are still as worried about inflation, but they are blaming Mr. Biden less,” said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “Mr. Biden’s recent, more strident accusations that greedy corporations are responsible for the price hikes appear to have won him points.”

The poll also suggests that voters across the political spectrum were willing to support third-party candidates. While No Labels, the bipartisan group that had attempted to run an independent “unity ticket,” dropped its candidacy earlier this month, several third-party candidates, including environmental lawyer Robert F Kennedy Jr, academic Cornel West and Green Party activist Jill Stein are still seeking access to the ballot in states across the country.

Nearly half – 46 percent – ​​of voters and two-thirds of independents said they would consider voting for a third-party candidate.

The latest survey, however, showed that the majority of voters supported a series of actions and policy proposals from the Biden administration. Asked about the Justice Department’s recent decision to sue Apple, alleging that the tech giant was using its power to crush competition and limit consumer choice in smartphones, nearly three-quarters of voters said that the big tech groups had too much power.

Separately, asked whether they support the Biden administration’s latest proposals to raise taxes on corporations and high-income individuals, nearly two-thirds said they supported the idea. If passed, the policy would require billionaires to pay at least a quarter of their income in taxes and increase the corporate tax rate from 21 to 28 percent.

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The FT-Michigan Ross Poll was conducted online by Democratic strategists Global Strategy Group and Republican polling firm North Star Opinion Research between April 4-8. It reflects the opinions of 1,010 registered voters nationwide and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.


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