In June, President Joe Biden began an “Investing in America” tour to explain across the country how “Bidenomics” is working to improve the economy. But only 3 in 10 Americans think the economy is improving, according to a new Monmouth University poll.
In recent weeks, Mr. Biden has campaigned on the slogan “Bidenomics,” associating his policymaking with improvements in unemployment, inflation, and economic growth. But the majority of Americans aren’t seeing this growth, according to the poll.
“The president has been touting ‘Bidenomics,’ but the needle of public opinion has not really moved. Americans are just not giving him a lot of credit when it comes to the economy,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, stated.
He further added that only a quarter of Americans believe the country is going in the right direction, while 68 percent think it is on the wrong track.
The poll, which took place July 12–17, asked people how they think the president is handling jobs and unemployment, transportation and energy infrastructure, and inflation.
The majority of respondents disapproved in each case: 34 percent approve of the president’s handling of inflation while 62 percent disapprove and 43 approved of his handling of transportation and energy infrastructure while 51 percent disapproved. Jobs and unemployment was a narrow split, with 47 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving.
Monmouth University also polled approval ratings for the vice president, Congress as a whole, and leaders in Congress, with Americans largely disapproving of all elected officials’ performance to varying degrees.
On the economy, respondents were also asked whether they thought the country was doing better, worse, or about the same as other countries post-pandemic, with roughly a third responding in each camp.
Mr. Biden’s approval rating has remained poor over the last two years, with averages compiled by Real Clear Politics coming out to 42 percent in recent weeks.
The Monmouth University poll is consistent with similar polls conducted earlier this year.
An Associated Press poll conducted last month found only 30 percent of Americans thought the economy was good, noting that the percentage hasn’t risen above a third since 2021.
A Gallup poll in May found declining confidence in all economic leaders, which was noted to be “at or near low points in the two-decade history of Gallup’s trend.” Just 35 percent had either a great deal or fair amount of confidence Mr. Biden would do right by the economy, down from 43 percent in 2022.
A CNN/SSRS poll in April found much the same thing: seven in 10 Americans said the economy was in poor shape, with only 29 percent responding that economic conditions were good, and only four in 10 believing economic conditions would improve in 2024. CNBC’s April poll reported similar numbers, with 69 percent of Americans pessimistic about the economy, which was noted as a historic high.
What Is ‘Bidenomics’?
Mr. Biden cited Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times for coming up with the name last month, without mentioning that the name had not been used in a positive sense.
In April, the WSJ editorial board published a piece titled “Bidenomics: Two Years of Falling Incomes,” which sought to explain why Americans have soured on the president’s economic policies. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans haven’t had a raise since he took office if one accounts for inflation.
“This is ugly by any measure, and it documents the price that Americans are paying for inflation unleashed by the spending and monetary excesses of President Biden, the last Democratic Congress and the Federal Reserve,” the board wrote. “Americans understand this.”
In an attempt to turn an insult around, Mr. Biden has tried to give it a positive spin in recent campaign speeches.
“I’m happy to call it ‘Bidenomics,'” he said with a laugh in Chicago last month. “And guess what? Bidenomics is working.”
“Bidenomics is just another way of saying ‘restoring the American Dream,'” he said in South Carolina earlier this month.
He contrasted the government investment-heavy method with “trickle-down,” “Reaganomics,” and tax cuts.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the federal budget deficit was $1.2 trillion in the first eight months of fiscal year 2023, up $735 billion—practically double—from last year (pdf).
Mr. Biden has touted this high spending in these recent campaign speeches, kicking off the Bidenomics tour with an announcement of $40 billion in investments toward internet infrastructure in rural America.