Biden's approval rating in the NBC News poll dived underwater for the first time in his presidency. The poll conducted Oct. 23-26 found that 42% of U.S. adults approved of Biden's job performance — a 7-point drop from August — while 54% disapproved. This is a near reversal from April's poll that showed 53% approval and 39% disapproval.
The poll — conducted by Hart Research Associates and Public Opinion Strategies that included 82% registered voters — revealed that only 37% of respondents believe Biden is "competent and effective as president," compared with 50% who declare him not to be. Just 37% of respondents trusted that Biden could handle a crisis, while 47% said he could not.
"Democrats face a country whose opinion of President Biden has turned sharply to the negative since April," Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research said. "The promise of the Biden presidency — knowledge, competence and stability in tough times — have all been called into question."
Todd said, "Americans have lost their confidence in President Joe Biden and their optimism for the country."
Only 28% of survey-takers said Biden was doing a "good" or "very good" job of uniting the country, a campaign promise the president often vowed to accomplish if he was elected.
When asked if they saw the country "off on the wrong track," 71% said the country was headed in the wrong direction, including 48% of Democrats. A mere 22% saw the nation heading in the right direction in the poll of 1,000 U.S. adults.
There were 53% of participants who said the country's best years "may already be behind us," versus 41% who believe America's best years are still yet to come.
"When you see a wrong track of 71%, it is a flashing red light," Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies said. "These folks are telling us that this is not going well."
The poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, also hinted that Democrats could be in trouble on several significant issues. The participants were asked which political party would do a better job with certain concerns. Republicans held double-digit advantages on border security (27 points), inflation (24 points), crime (22 points), national security (21 points), the economy (18 points), and "being effective and getting things done" (13 points). Democrats were said to do a better job on climate change (24 points), the COVID-19 pandemic (12 points), and abortion (by 10 points).
NBC News also noted, "GOP enjoys a significant enthusiasm advantage at this point in the election cycle, with 69% of Republicans expressing a high level of interest about the midterms (on a 1-to-10 scale), versus 58% of Democrats who hold the same level of interest."