Inflation continues to be the top concern for voters as large numbers rate both the nation’s economy and their individual finances negatively. That’s according to a new Fox News survey that contains little good news for an incumbent president running for re-election.
Some 83% of voters say the economy is in only fair or poor shape.
That's more negative by 5 points compared to last month (78%) and worse by 14 points compared to President Biden's 100-day mark in April 2021 (69%).
Another 66% give their personal financial situation negative marks, up from 58% in December.
While views are especially negative among Republicans (95% say the national economy is in bad shape and 71% feel the same about their situation), it's about as bad among independents (90% negative on the economy and 77% on individual finances).
Overall, a large 90% majority is concerned about inflation, including 85% of Democrats.
Almost as many, 88%, are worried about the future of the country. That includes most Republicans (96%), Democrats (83%) and independents (82%).
Two-thirds are concerned about the U.S. banking system (65%) and being able to pay their bills (64%). Worrying about paying bills jumps to 75% among lower-income households but also stands at 56% for households earning $50,000 or more annually.
And then there’s this: Only 20% feel President Biden’s policies are helping them.
Nearly half overall (48%) and more than half of independents (52%) say the administration’s policies are hurting their families. Four years ago, at the same point in former President Trump’s presidency, 37% overall and 39% of independents said his policies were hurting (May 2019).
That’s how Biden’s job rating on the economy ends up underwater by 32 points: 33% of voters approve and 65% disapprove.
"Inflation is a stubborn economic problem and therefore a stubborn political problem," says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson who conducts the Fox News survey with Republican Daron Shaw. "As long as inflation is squeezing paychecks, Biden is going to have a tough time making the case that his fiscal policies are helping people."
Currently, 42% approve of Biden’s overall job performance, while 58% disapprove. That’s down from 44% and 55% last month and the lowest since August 2022, when it was also 42% and 58%. His worst was 40% and 59% in July 2022.
The poll finds the smallest portion to date, just 15%, strongly approve of Biden, while almost three times that number strongly disapprove (41%).
Approval of the president sits at record lows with key segments of the Democratic coalition: women (40%), voters under age 45 (41%), Hispanics (42%) and Black voters (60%). In the early months of his presidency, over 50% of women, about 60% of young voters, more than 60% of Hispanics and about 90% of Blacks approved.
There are mixed views over the U.S. response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as 47% approve and 48% disapprove. That’s a touch more positive than a year ago when it was 44% and 51%, respectively.
Despite the uptick on Ukraine, approval of Biden’s handling of foreign policy is at a low of 38%. His approval on border security is also at the bottom (33%), while he gets positive marks on the coronavirus pandemic (50%).
Democrats (68% approve) alone approve of how the U.S. has responded to the invasion, with majorities of Republicans (66%) and independents (56%) disapproving.
"As some have noted, many Republicans are increasingly suspicious of the commitment of U.S. assets to foreign engagements generally and to Ukraine particularly," says Shaw. "For those of us who remember the Cold War and Rocky IV, it seems odd to say, but there are almost as many doves on the right these days as there are on the left."
By a 10-point margin, more voters think Ukraine is winning the war. That’s mainly driven by Democrats (57%) and independents (45%) putting Ukraine ahead, because the largest share of Republicans believes Russia is winning (45%).
Conducted May 19-22, 2023, under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,001 registered voters nationwide randomly selected from a voter file who spoke with live interviewers on landline phones and cellphones. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for all registered voters.
Fox News’ Victoria Balara contributed to this report.