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Biden’s approval sinks below 40% again as Americans grade his 2023 performance

By Jake Beardslee · January 2, 2024

In brief…

  • Some supporters gave modestly positive grades, but said he underdelivered and missed the mark
  • Americans want Biden to prioritize domestic issues like student debt, unity, and the middle class
  • Low approval ratings could hurt Biden's chances for re-election in 2024 if he does not turn things around
Biden is facing low approval ratings and criticism from Americans that he has not delivered on his campaign promises and focused enough on domestic issues in 2023.  Adam Schultz/Wikimedia

Americans across the country have graded President Biden’s performance in 2023, with many giving low marks as his approval rating remains mired below 40%.

Interviews with Americans in several cities revealed a mix of sharp criticism and modest praise for the president. “It seems like he’s not doing anything but pandering to people that get in his face, and it’s wrong,” said Ginger of Washington, D.C., to Fox News, giving Biden a D grade.

But Treeven, also from D.C., gave the president a B-plus, saying “I think he’s tried his best to help, but he’s missed the mark.”

Biden ended 2023 with a 39% approval rating for December according to a Gallup poll, a slight increase from 37% the previous two months. This marks the lowest approval rating for a modern president seeking re-election at this stage. Former presidents Trump and Obama were several points higher at the same point.

Some Americans offered harsh critiques of Biden’s performance. “I don’t think people understand how that job will age you and affect you,” Cam from Michigan told Fox, giving Biden an F grade. He argued the U.S. needs someone “sharper and, honestly, a little bit more pro-American” as president.

When asked what Biden should prioritize in 2024, Americans emphasized domestic issues. Treeven said student loan forgiveness should be a top focus, while Ginger argued Biden needs to improve unity between Democrats and Republicans.