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74% of voters say country is on the wrong track, Biden’s job approval stays low: poll

Nearly three-quarters of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, according to a poll released on Sunday that shows President Biden’s job approval ratings mired in the low 40s as the midterm elections close in.

Representative of the deep dissatisfaction among Americans, 74% say the US is headed in the wrong direction, 58% believe the country’s best days are in the rearview mirror and 61% say they are so steamed they would be willing to march around for a day with a protest sign, the NBC News poll found. 

Asked what the signs would say, Democratic voters chose “women’s rights,” “abortion rights,” and “prosecute Trump” — while Republicans said they would tote “impeach Biden,” “protect our freedom” and “protect 2nd Amendment” banners.

In this April 14, 2021, file photo President Joe Biden speaks from the Treaty Room in the White House about the withdrawal of the remainder of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
President Joe Biden has a 42% approval rating, according to an NBC News poll.
APAndrew Harnik, Pool

With 77 days to go before the November elections, and with Democratic control of Congress hanging in the balance, Biden’s job approval rating hasn’t budged in months. 

The poll shows 42% of American voters approve of the president, but 55% disapprove — numbers that have remained virtually unchanged since October 2021. 

Biden’s strongest support comes from Democrats (79%), black voters (58%), urban residents (50%) and women (47%). 

Abortion-rights activists demonstrate outside a Planned Parenthood clinic as they safeguard the clinic from a possible protest by a far-right group on July 16, 2022.
Pollsters credit the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade for motivating Democrats.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

It also found that 47% of registered voters prefer that Republicans take control of Congress, with 45% backing Democrats. 

The poll was taken between Aug. 12-16, after Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act which includes a range of climate and health care initiatives. 

Inside the dire numbers, Democrats can find a slight ray of hope for the midterms in that members of their party have begun to close the enthusiasm gap. 

The poll shows that 68% of Republicans express a high level of interest in November’s elections – registering either a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale – while Democrats are at 66%.

But that 2 percentage point GOP advantage represents a 17-point drop since March. 

Pollsters credit the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade for motivating Democrats. 

“The Supreme Court ruling has shaken up the electorate,” Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates told NBC. 

The poll was also conducted after the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Florida resort in a search for classified documents he removed from the White House. 

Asked about the investigations into Trump, 57% believe they should continue, while 40% say they should end because they are politically divisive. 

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