Last updated on February 6, 2022
Joe Biden’s approval rating among African-Americans has dropped significantly during his presidency, as his approval overall continues to slide.
A focus group of African Americans in the states of Michigan, Texas, and Georgia, conducted by Democratic surveyor Navigator Research, found that Biden’s approval among black people fell 10 percentage points over the course of the year 2021, from 86% in January 2021, shortly after Biden took office, to 76% in 2022. Even more surprising, Biden’s approval among black voters under 35 declined by a full 25% over the past year, from 88% in 2021 to just 63% in 2022.
Biden’s base of support was very tepid, the focus group found, with neither enthusiastic support nor intense disapproval. Asked to grade Biden’s “progress report” so far, voters gave him mostly “C” grades, with a few “Ds,” and even fewer “Bs.”
Asked to pinpoint some of the Biden administration’s positives and negatives, voters pointed to health care and returning to the Paris Climate Accord as positives. “Health care. Most definitely. The best thing we got going right now,” said one Georgia man. “There’s more help for those that weren’t able to get health care or didn’t think they could afford it. It’s more affordable at the present time and it’s better coverage.” “I think he’s had a good COVID response, getting Fauci on board, getting that rolled out. I think, what I said before, repairing relationships with allies. I guess it’s more specific. We rejoined the Paris Climate Accord,” said another.
Voters were much more direct in pointing out negatives. “I invest in stocks. They’re down significantly than where they were a year ago. … To me, that’s not going well,” said a Texas woman. “I was recently laid off. Also, the gas prices. Even though I don’t even drive, I drive an electric car, I notice every once in a while gas prices are over $3 right now… Oh, and of course COVID is going on right now. And I’m sure things are getting better, but I’m just done with COVID.”
Another woman put it more bluntly: “I don’t think anything, really, is going good in our country right now.”
Many voters were not overtly angry with Biden, but were disappointed in his lack of transparency and failure to move on his domestic agenda, specifically on student loan forgiveness. 84% of black voters surveyed said they wanted to hear more from Biden, with 44% who had strong feelings about it.
“If you noticed Trump the last four years and how active he was on camera and off camera with stimulus checks or whether it be this or that, you actually saw him doing work, whether it was good or bad,” said one Michigan man. “But Biden, you don’t even see him at all. What do we know about our wellbeing right now, as far as him being president? He hasn’t said anything about helping us get through COVID part two. I just feel like it’s a lack of communication between the top and the bottom.”
“I think he’s a C because there’s a lot of things he promised. And I feel like Trump had more of an impact, even though I did not like Trump as President. But he had more of an impact than Biden has done for the past few months,” said one Georgia woman.
“The promises made on the campaign for student loans, they haven’t been kept,” added a Georgia man. “I don’t expect something as extreme as a $10,000 or a $50,000 elimination of student loans, simply because I don’t think people on the other side of the aisle would even allow something like that. But any progress at all would be helpful on that front, maybe cutting interest rates on those loans.”
Biden’s approval rating among Americans more broadly has been trending downward. A recent Harvard-Harris poll showed Biden at the lowest point of his presidency, with just 39% approval. A recent Gallup poll found that Biden, while still personally likeable, has lost much belief in several important character traits, including leadership, government management, and good judgment during times of crisis. A Rasmussen Reports poll found that 50% of likely voters want to see Biden impeached, and another poll found that a majority of voters think Biden will go down as one of the worst Presidents in history.
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