When Joe Biden became president, he rode a wave of popularity into the White House. His approval rating was 61% and only 35% of voters disapproved of the new president. Voters were hopeful he would turn the country around, which was beaten and battered due to the coronavirus pandemic and the political divide that materialized under the Trump presidency. To put things in perspective, almost one year prior to the date of this most recent poll being conducted (5/27/21) 51% of voters thought the country was headed in the right direction, while 43% thought the country was off on the wrong track. Fast forward one year later and less than a third (31%) said it was headed in the right direction and more than three in five (62%) said the US was off on the wrong track. This is a dramatic turn of events!
Most sub-groups we surveyed thought the country was off on the wrong track. Some areas of concern for President Biden were some of his biggest supporters that helped him win the 2020 presidential election; for example, only a quarter of youth aged 18-29 (28% right direction/63% wrong track) and a third of voters aged 18-24 (32% right direction/55% wrong track) thought the country was headed in the right direction.
Biden continued to get hammered by minorities: three in five Hispanics said the country was off on the wrong track (31% right direction/59% wrong track). Slightly more than two in five African Americans (44% right direction/46% wrong track) voters thought the country was headed in the right direction. Another staple of the Biden coalition, women, were not crazy about where the country was headed either-(27% right direction/64% wrong track). Of greater concern for President Biden were his disastrous numbers with suburbanites (25% right direction/69% wrong track), especially suburban women (25% right direction/66% wrong track), both of which he and Democrats need desperately in order to keep control of Congress and retain the presidency in 2024.
There were some glimmerings of hope for Biden as voters in large cities (51% right direction/43% wrong track) urban men (47% right direction/46% wrong track) and Democrats (56% right direction/37% wrong track) thought the country was somewhat headed in the right direction. Millennials (42% right direction/51% wrong track) were less sanguine. Truthfully, these groups alone, cannot help Democrats in the November midterms and 2024 presidential election.
Surveyed voters were also not feeling good about the state of the economy. A paltry 27% of voters thought the economy was headed in the right direction, while two-thirds (67%) said the economy was off on the wrong track. While the official unemployment rate is low, currently 3.4%, the true state of the economy is in tatters. Millions of Americans have left the workforce, and there are five million more job openings than unemployed people in the U.S. Inflation have increased prices at the pump to record numbers and food prices are skyrocketing daily. More Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
It is no wonder two-thirds think the direction of the economy is off on the wrong track. A majority of every subgroup thought the economy was off on the wrong track. Younger voters were not positive about the direction of the economy (23% right direction/67% wrong track). They have been burdened by student debt, low paying job prospects, rising home costs, which have prevented them from entering the housing market, and been hit hardest mental health struggles due to coronavirus pandemic.
Both men (30% right direction/65% wrong track) and women (24% right direction/69% wrong track) were negative about the state of the economy, as were Hispanics (27% right direction/66% wrong track) and African Americans (36% right direction/52% wrong track).
Other important voting blocs who were not happy about the direction of the economy were Independents (19% right direction/70% wrong track), suburbanites (22% right direction/73% wrong track), rural voters (13% right direction/82% wrong track), and suburban women (24% right direction/71% wrong track).
The only groups to have a positive outlook on the direction of the U.S. economy were Democrats (49% right direction/44%wrong track), large city voters (48% right direction/46%wrong track) and union members (52 right direction/44%wrong track), all of which are consistent stalwarts of the Democratic party, who no matter the situation, find it hard to fault our president or his lack of policies, while most surveyed voters feel the opposite.
Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
US Likely Voters
5/23/22 - 5/24/22
Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 1,100 likely voters in the US.
Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.
Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. The party breakdown for this survey is as follows: 38% Democrat, 38% Republican and 24% Independent/unaffiliated.
Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 1,100 is +/- 3.0 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.
Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.
Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.
About Zogby Analytics:
Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions.
The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.