F&M Stories

Biden Nose-Dives in Latest F&M Poll

Inflation, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, immigrants at the southern border, and division over COVID mandates have combined to send President Joe Biden's job approval rating spiraling downward after less than 10 months in office, according to the most recent Franklin & Marshall College Poll.

Thirty-two percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania believe the Democrat is doing an "excellent" or "good" job as president, a decline from his June rating of 44% and his August rating of 41%, F&M Poll Director Berwood Yost said.

"We're not talking about President Biden losing Republicans; they already don't support him. He's losing Democrats, independents, moderates and even some liberals," Yost said. "Lots of people have changed their mind about his performance."

Thirty-nine percent of voters say their feelings about Biden's job performance changed over the last few months, with 90% of these voters feeling the President is performing "worse" today.

According to the poll, voters who feel the President is doing "worse" most often say that their change of mind is due to the withdrawal from Afghanistan, 31%; the border crisis and immigration, 15%; the economy and inflation, 15%; and COVID, 14%.

The poll, conducted of registered voters between Oct. 18 and 24, shows that other leading concerns for voters were government and politicians, 20%, unchanged from the August poll and down 10 points from the June poll; and personal finances, 17%, up from 13% in June.

Regarding election integrity, 55% of registered voters oppose the Pennsylvania state legislature's plans to conduct a forensic investigation of the 2020 election, with 78% of Democrats, 64% of independents, 88% of liberals, and 69% of moderates opposed while 70% of Republicans and 76% of conservatives support the idea.

Regarding COVID-19 restrictions, more voters favor than oppose requiring masks in public schools, 64%. Majorities of voters also favor employers requiring vaccines of their employees (56%) and businesses requiring customers to provide proof of a vaccination (51%).

For the right-direction/wrong-track question, 30% of voters say Pennsylvania is headed in the right direction, a drop from 37% in the August poll.

Gov. Tom Wolf's job approval rating is 42%, similar to the 41% in August.

In next year's U.S. Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Pat Toomey, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman remains first for 27% of Democrats with U.S. Rep. Connor Lamb following at 17%. The Republican primary field remains virtually open with Sean Parnell, who tried to unseat Lamb in 2020, at 10%, unchanged from the August poll; Kathy Barnette, veteran and conservative commentator, 6%; and Jeff Bartos, a real estate developer and a 2018 lieutenant governor candidate, at 6%. Both candidates' support is virtually unchanged.

For more about primary elections in general, including why there are so many candidates in primaries, check out the F&M Poll's May 2021 newsletter.

The F&M Poll, like all surveys, is a snapshot of a specific point in time, not a forecast. All polls have variability; voters change their minds; and events after a survey can sometimes influence voters' decisions, including whether to vote at all.

Conducted by the Center for Opinion Research at F&M, the poll reflects interviews with 522 Pennsylvania likely voters, including 244 Democrats, 205 Republicans and 73 independents. The sample error is plus or minus 5.2 percentage points.

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