President Biden’s approval ratings in Iowa are taking a hit, with less than a third of residents in the traditional heartland swing state giving the president a thumbs up on the job he’s doing in the White House.
Biden’s approval rating stands at 31%, with disapproval at 62%, according to a Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll, which was released on Tuesday.
That’s a significant drop from June, the previous time the question was asked, when the president stood at 43%-52% approval/disapproval. The last time Biden’s approval ratings were above water in Des Moines Register/Mediacom polling in Iowa was in March, early in his presidency, when he stood at 47%-44%.
Iowa was long a crucial battleground state, but Republicans have enjoyed greater success there in recent years. While former President Obama carried Iowa during his 2008 presidential election victory and 2012 reelection, former President Trump captured the state by 9 points in his 2016 presidential victory and by 8 points over Biden in his 2020 reelection defeat. GOP Sen. Joni Ernst won reelection by a comfortable 7 points and Republicans flipped two congressional seats from blue to red in Iowa last November.
"This is a bad poll for Joe Biden, and it's playing out in everything that he touches right now," the survey’s pollster, J. Ann Selzer, told the Des Moines Register.
There’s a predictable wide partisan divide in the poll, with Democrats overwhelming approving of Biden’s job performance and Republicans overwhelming disapproving, with independents giving Biden a thumbs down by a wide 62%-29% margin.
The president’s overall approval in the new poll is lower than Trump’s worst showing in the Iowa survey, which was 35% approval in December of 2017.
Contributing to Biden’s decline are his approval on the handling of the turbulent U.S. exit from Afghanistan – which stands at 22% - and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic – at 36%. The president’s approval on dealing with the with worst pandemic to strike the globe in a century dropped 17 points from June, amid a surge in COVID cases this summer due to the spread of the highly infectious delta variant.
The Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll was conducted Sept. 12-15, with Selzer and Co. questioning 805 Iowa adults. The survey has a sampling of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
The president stood at 50% approval and 49% disapproval in a Fox News national poll that was also conducted on Sept. 12-15, and released on Sunday. Biden stood at 53%-46% in the previous Fox News poll, which was conducted in early August.
The presidential approval rating has long been a much watched barometer of a president's clout and how well his party may perform in the ensuing midterm elections. Democrats will be defending their razor thin majorities in the House and Senate in next year's midterms.