October 6, 2022
Biden’s Job Approval Rating & the Midterm Elections
NPR/Marist National Poll
Biden’s Approval Rating on Upswing as Dems Edge GOP in Midterm Elections
President Joe Biden’s job approval rating is at 44% among Americans, marking a three-month upward swing in perceptions of the president’s job performance. Biden has regained support among his Democratic base but continues to struggle among independents. Democrats edge their Republican opponents nationally for Congress. However, their advantage has narrowed and is now at 3 points among voters who say they definitely plan to vote.
President Biden’s job approval rating stands at 44% among Americans. This is up from 41% in September and is Biden’s highest approval rating since last March (47%). 49% of Americans disapprove of Biden’s job performance, down from 54% last month. 24% of residents nationally strongly approve of how Biden is doing his job, and 40% strongly disapprove.
Biden has reclaimed some of his Democratic base. 87% of Democrats, up from 79% in September, approve of his job performance. Among independents, fewer disapprove of how Biden is doing his job (51% down from 59%). Independents are more unsure (11% from 3% previously) about how to rate Biden’s performance as president.
Among registered voters nationally, the Democrats running for Congress (46%) have a narrow two-point edge over the Republicans (44%). Four points separated the Democrats (48%) and Republicans (44%) last month. In June, immediately following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, the Democrats (48%) led the Republicans (41%) by 7 points among registered voters. Among Americans who say they definitely plan to vote, the Democrats (48%) are currently +3 percentage points over the Republicans (45%).
Inflation (37%) is top of mind for Americans as they prepare to cast their ballot for the midterms. Preserving democracy (27%), abortion (13%), immigration (12%), and health care (10%) follow. Inflation is the motivating issue for Republicans (52%) while nearly one in three Democrats (32%) cite preserving democracy. Inflation (22%) and abortion (21%) follow among Democrats.
28% of Americans think the nation is moving in the right direction while 69% say it is moving in the wrong one. While a majority of Democrats (52%) perceive the nation to be moving in the right direction, 91% of Republicans and 71% of independents say the country is off track.
"Both Democrats and Republicans have a lot at stake in the midterm elections," says Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. "Although most voters think the election results will be fair and honest, Republicans are far less certain to accept the results should their candidate be defeated."
Nearly Half of Americans Say Defeated Candidates Should Definitely Concede
49% of Americans say that, if the candidate they support loses in this year’s midterm elections, the candidate with their support should definitely concede the election. An additional 30% report their candidate of choice should probably concede. 11% think they probably should not concede, and 6% think they definitely should not concede.
68% of Democrats and 51% of independents say their candidate should definitely concede if their opponent is declared the winner. A plurality of Republicans (41%) say their candidate of choice should probably concede if their candidate’s opponent is deemed victorious.
Three in Four Americans Express Confidence in Election System
75% of Americans are either confident or very confident in their state and local government to run a fair and accurate election this November. 24% are either not very confident or not confident at all in their ability to do so. But, here, too, there is a partisan divide. 92% of Democrats express confidence in their state and local voting process while 75% of independents and 69% of Republicans agree.
A majority (51%) of American voters say they plan to vote in-person on Election Day. 30% expect to vote by mail or absentee ballot, and 17% plan to vote at an early voting location. Two percent say they do not intend to vote.
Republicans (62%) and independents (52%) are more likely than Democrats (39%) to say they will head to the polls on Election Day. A plurality of Democrats (42%) say they expect to vote by mail or absentee ballot.
Patriotism on Display
More than one in three Americans (35%) say they always display an American flag on their property. 20% report they put up a flag during the holidays, and 44% say they never display a flag.
Republicans (59%) are more likely than independents (27%) and Democrats (22%) to say they always have a flag outside their home.