majority of Americans unhappy with Biden

(CNN)– The summer of 2022 is a season of deepening and widespread discontent, according to a new CNN poll by SSRS. The poll finds that the public’s outlook on the state of the country is the worst since 2009, while its view of the economy is the worst since 2011. And nearly 7 in 10 say President Joe Biden hasn’t paid enough attention to the most important problems of the nation.

Biden’s approval rating in the poll is 38%, with 62% disapproving. Her approval ratings for handling the economy (30%) and inflation (25%) are noticeably lower. Rising prices are a top economic pressure for most Americans: 75% consider inflation and the cost of living to be the most important economic problem facing their family. Last summer, that figure stood at 43%.

As the midterms approach, the poll finds no indication that Biden’s position with the public is improving, and among some critical electorates, it is worsening. Among Democrats, for example, Biden’s approval numbers have fallen 13 points since the spring (from 86% in a late April-early May poll to 73% now), while his numbers among independents and Republicans have kept almost even. Biden’s approval rating among Democrats for handling the economy is also on the decline (62% approval, down from 71% this spring). And on inflation, it’s just above average (51% of Democrats approve, 47% disapprove).

Among people of color, 45% now approve of Biden’s overall performance, up from 54% in the spring. That decline includes a 6-point drop among black adults and a 9-point decline among Hispanic adults. Biden’s approval ratings for handling the economy and inflation are now negative among black adults, who have been among the president’s strongest supporters (47% approve and 52% disapprove of handling the economy, while 34% disapprove). % approve and 65% disapprove of managing inflation).

Few Americans who approve of Biden’s overall performance say they do so strongly. Overall, only 12% strongly approve of the way Biden is handling the presidency compared to 43% who say they strongly disapprove of his job. Only 28% of Democrats strongly approve, while among Republicans, strong disapproval is nearly universal at 84%.

Public perceptions of the economy and how things are going in the country in general are deeply negative and getting worse. Since the spring, the percentage of people who say things are bad for the country has risen 11 points to 79%, the highest level since February 2009, and just four points below the all-time worst reached in November 2008. That shift is happening largely among Democrats. Only 38% of Democrats now say things are going well in the country, down from 61% this spring. Similarly, there has been a sharp drop among people of color, from 41% who said things were going well in the spring to 27% now.

Only 18% of Americans describe the nation’s economy as in good shape, while 82% say economic conditions are poor. About 4 in 10 (41%) describe the economy as “very poor,” up 11 points since the spring and nearly double since December. While some economists are warning of an impending recession, most Americans think the country is already in that situation. The survey finds that 64% of Americans feel the economy is currently in a recession, up from those who said that just before the Great Recession (46% felt that way in October 2007) and a recession that started in 2001 (44% who said the country was already in recession in February 2001). Within parties, majorities say the country is already in a recession, including 56% of Democrats, 63% of independents and 76% of Republicans.

When asked to name the biggest financial issue facing their family today, 75% named an issue related to cost of living or inflation, including 38% who named inflation and rising prices in general , 29% who mentioned gasoline prices and 18% who mentioned the price of food. All of those numbers are up considerably since last summer. One survey participant said: “The prices of everything keep going higher and higher. Is it going to stop?” Another said: “I work 40+ hours and can barely afford to get by. With gas prices and food prices so high, I don’t see how anyone can have extra money to do anything other than work.” And a third participant said, “Inflation causes so much pain with everything we buy and everything we do.”

While the public’s attention has shifted sharply to inflation, few believe the president’s focus has been directed there. In the survey, 68% say that Biden has not paid enough attention to the most important problems in the country, compared to 58% who said so last November. That tops the previous high in CNN polling that said the president’s attention was misplaced (59% say Donald Trump hadn’t paid attention to major issues in late summer 2017).

On this issue, too, Biden is losing ground among his main support groups. Among Democrats, 57% say they have the right priorities, down nearly 20 points from 75% last fall. Among people of color, just 35% say they have the right priorities, and among those under 35, just 23% say the president has the right focus.

The poll finds that Biden’s approval ratings for handling immigration (39%) and the situation in Ukraine (46%) exceed those for economic issues, but most disapprove of his handling of both issues.

The poll also suggests that the personal preference of both the president and the vice president has taken a hit. A year and a half ago, just before he was inaugurated, 59% had a favorable opinion of Biden and 51% had a favorable opinion of Kamala Harris. Now, those figures stand at 36% and 32% respectively. Meanwhile, the public’s opinion of First Lady Jill Biden is mixed: 34% have a favorable opinion, 29% unfavorable, and 37% are not sure how they feel about her.

The new CNN poll was conducted by SSRS from June 13 to July 13 among a random national sample of 1,459 adults initially contacted by mail, and is the third poll CNN has conducted using this methodology. Surveys were conducted online or over the phone with a live interviewer. The results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.