A new opinion poll shows that US President Joe Biden’s approval rating has plunged close to the lowest level of his presidency ahead of the annual State of the Union address.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll said Biden’s public approval rating stood at 41% on Tuesday as he prepared for the major yearly speech that is expected to serve as a blueprint for a 2024 re-election bid.
The national survey also showed that 65% of Americans think the country is on the wrong track, up from 58% a year earlier.
Despite Biden’s unpopularity, the poll showed that Americans prefer Democrats over Republicans on a range of issues. On healthcare policy, 37% of respondents said Democrats have a better approach, compared to 18% who picked Republicans. People picked Democrats 42% to 16% on women’s rights, and 34% to 23% on gun violence and gun control.
According to the new poll, many Americans are uncomfortable with Washington’s large debts as some 55% said they oppose raising the debt ceiling, including 32% of Democrats and 78% of Republicans.
The State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday evening is Biden’s first appearance before a new Republican House majority eager to block the White House’s agenda.
The four-part “unity agenda” that Biden introduced during last year’s State of the Union address includes overcoming the opioid epidemic, fighting cancer, supporting veterans and improving mental health care.
Biden is also expected to address the widespread uncertainty at home and abroad, fueled by fluctuating economic indicators, instability over Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and Washington’s heightened tension with China.
The 80-year-old faced new criticism over a probe into classified documents found in his home in recent months, after he had condemned his predecessor for allegedly mishandling classified documents when he left the White House in 2021.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted throughout the United States, gathered responses from 1,029 adults with a margin of error of three percentage points.