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Biden approval rating falls to 41 percent as economic woes continue

 March 23, 2023

It has become increasingly clear that President Joe Biden fully intends to seek a second term in the White House, though he has not yet officially announced his candidacy or launched a full-fledged campaign.

One of the possible factors in the apparent delay in formally launching his re-election bid is his stubbornly low job approval ratings, which sits at just 41 percent in one major recent poll, the Daily Mail reported.

That poll held even worse news for Biden's presumed running-mate for a second term, Vice President Kamala Harris, as her job approval rating was just 36 percent.

Bad news in a new poll

Those numbers came from the Monmouth University Polling Institute, which surveyed 805 U.S. adults between March 16-20 and had a margin of error of 5.8 percent.

The pollsters pegged President Biden's job approval for March at 41 percent, which is steady with where it has been for the past several months, and though it is up from a low of 36 percent in June 2022 it is still well below Biden's previous high of 54 percent approval in April 2022.

As for his disapproval rating, the survey showed that it is currently at 51 percent, which is down from a high point of 58 percent in June 2022 but substantially above the low of just 30 percent disapproval when he first took office in January 2021.

The poll had even more bad news for Biden and his prospective re-election campaign, in that it showed only 22 percent of Americans believe the nation is headed in the "right direction" under his leadership, compared to 72 percent who say the president has America headed down the "wrong track."

Also, for the first time ever, Monmouth asked about Vice President Harris' job approval and found that only 36 percent approve while 53 percent disapprove of the job she has done thus.

Average approval ratings remain low

The numbers for President Biden and Vice President Harris are not too dissimilar from the collective average of job approval polls as determined by FiveThirtyEight, which shows Biden as being -10.1 points underwater with an average approval of 42.7 percent and disapproval of 52.8 percent.

For Harris, the outlet showed that she was even deeper in negative territory with a -13 point difference between her average approval of 37.8 percent and disapproval of 50.8 percent.

Yet, while those numbers certainly don't bode well for the ambitions of Biden and Harris to be re-elected for another four years in 2024, that hasn't stopped the president's team from continuing to make preparations for what appears to be an increasingly inevitable re-election campaign.

Biden already making campaign-like moves

The Washington Post reported in mid-March that, save for a formal announcement, President Biden's campaign for a second term was already underway to a certain extent.

That includes an increasing number of speeches delivered in key swing states in which he touts his purported accomplishments, lays out his future agenda and desire to "finish the job," and mercilessly attacks "MAGA Republicans" along with his predecessor and possible future opponent, former President Donald Trump.

He has also pivoted slightly toward the center with his policies and rhetoric on a couple of major issues that are widely viewed as vulnerabilities for Democrats, such as rampant crime and illegal immigration.

Biden building a campaign team, establishing headquarters

Meanwhile, prior to that report from The Post about the Biden team's preparations for a 2024 campaign launch, which the paper suggested could be made official in just a matter of weeks, The Hill reported that Biden and his people were narrowing down their search for candidates to fill certain vital senior roles in that campaign.

The outlet noted that it was hoped that a campaign team could be fully assembled by April, though it could be delayed even further because, per one unnamed source, the president has "taken forever" to make any decisions about who among the list of considered candidates -- all prominent players from his 2020 campaign or other successful Democratic campaigns -- will actually be hired for the demanding jobs.

That said, Reuters reported this week that Biden had narrowed his search for a 2024 campaign manager down to three top contenders and had largely decided that his campaign headquarters would be based in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware -- though there remained a possibility that, similar to 2020, it could also be headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.