US President Joe Biden's public approval rating fell to 41% this week, a new poll shows, amid a high inflation rate in the country.
The Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll strikes a blow to Biden’s Democratic Party's hopes of retaining control of Congress in November's elections.
Democrats are widely expected to lose control of the House and possibly the Senate to Republicans, who are likely to block many of Biden's legislative efforts.
The drop indicates that the small burst of momentum the Democratic president briefly enjoyed last week, when his approval rating hit 45%, has stalled.
According to the two-day national survey, 53% of Americans disapprove of Biden's job performance, and only one-quarter said they believe the country was headed in the right direction.
The latest poll shows Americans want Biden to prioritize economic woes, with 27% believing the economy is their most important issue today.
This comes amid a rising inflation rate, which hit a new 4-decade high in March, exacerbated by the Ukraine-Russia conflict which has caused energy and food costs to increase. Analysts warn that the conflict could lead to further energy shocks.
On Tuesday, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the CPI had reached a record level unprecedented since December 1981. The Consumer Price Index rose 8.5% for the year ended in March.
The March data was higher than the 8.4 percent economists had predicted.
Also on Tuesday, Biden said his administration plans to extend availability of higher biofuel blends of gasoline during the summer to prevent fuel costs from further rising and to cut reliance on foreign energy sources.
The president’s dismal approval rating, however, suggests he has led the country to the brink of recession or worse.
Justin Wolfers, an economist at the University of Michigan, said, “We’re living through a generationally scarring moment. Things still feel so precarious, so it’s understandable people would feel a greater sense of economic risk, like their prosperity is fragile.”