Joe Biden’s Approval Ratings Drop As Immigration Concerns Rise – President Joe Biden’s popularity is approaching record lows, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.
Just 40% of respondents in the three-day poll approved of Biden’s presidency to date, down two points from 42% in September.
Conducted over last weekend, the poll followed a near government shutdown averted at the last minute, the launch of an impeachment inquiry into the Biden family, and the extension of predecessor Donald Trump’s border wall.
Joe Biden Should Be Concerned
The last factor comes amid increasing concern among Americans over immigration. 14% of U.S. voters said it was their top concern, a rise of 6% from September and the highest measure since December 2019 (15%) for a Reuters/Ipsos poll. The economy remains the top concern for one-fifth of Americans (19%), down four points from last month.
In contrast, 11% cited crime, while 7% cited the environment.
Immigration Could Be A Major Player
Republicans reported the largest increase in immigration concerns, indicating a platform for the next GOP presidential candidate – most likely former president Trump – in 2024.
The Republican frontrunner has largely echoed his sentiment from his previous presidential campaigns; Trump, often to a chorus of “build the wall”, has been a vocal critic of President Biden’s handling of illegal immigration – an issue which has grown in prominence due to ongoing humanitarian crises in South America.
Trump recently told The National Pulse, a right-leaning website, that illegal immigrants were “poisoning the blood of the country.” It’s a statement that many critics deemed racist, however, looking at the issues more broadly, concerns perhaps resonate with some Americans. In last month’s Reuters/Ipsos poll, a majority (54%) agreed that “immigration is making life harder for native-born Americans,” – a split of 73% and 37% among Republicans and Democrats respectively.
However, the successful candidate will need more than a hardline stance on immigration to win next year’s presidential election. This is perhaps best evidenced by a look back to the past; ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, Republican politicians pledged a strong response to rising concerns over immigration. Yet, the Democrats ultimately regained the House of Representatives, later leading to two impeachments for then-President Trump.
Nevertheless, Biden’s bucking to his predecessor’s signature policy could come back to haunt him. Upon taking office in January 2021, Biden pledged that “no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall.” It’s a U-turn at best, and admittance of defeat at worst; Trump’s response of “I was right,” implies that it could be the latter, even though the Biden administration claims that there were no legal alternative uses for the money set aside for the wall.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll gathered responses online from 1,029 adults, using a nationally representative sample.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.