Biden’s performance rating on economy sinks to Jimmy Carter level. Congrats, Joe!

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With inflation nearing a 40 year high this month, effectively erasing recent U.S. wage gains, President Joe Biden’s economic ratings are being compared to former President Jimmy Carter.

For the record, that troubling news is coming from CNN, of all sources, as the network reported on Tuesday that Biden “now sports the lowest net economic rating of any president at this point through their first term since at least Jimmy Carter in 1977.”

Citing the latest CNN/SSRS poll, the article noted that on his economic performance, Biden scores a 44% approval rating to 55% disapproval rating among registered voters,

“This makes for a -9 point net approval rating. The average of all polls taken in December is quite similar with Biden at -13 points on the economy,” wrote CNN Politics analyst Harry Enten. “To put that in perspective, the average president at this point in the last 44 years (since we have been polling on the topic) had a net economic approval rating of +5 points. That means Biden’s is 18 points worse than the average.”

Enten further noted that Biden’s net rating “is worse than his two immediate predecessors, Barack Obama in December 2009 and Donald Trump in December 2017,” pointing out that ‘both Obama and Trump had net approval ratings on the economy of -4 points.”

Inflation is clearly a factor, and is what helped sink Jimmy Carter, along with the Iran hostage crisis — Ronald Reagan famously asked the American people during the final presidential debate of 1980, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

More from CNN:

Inflation, in particular, seems to be a big issue for Biden. Just 28% of Americans approved of the job he is doing to handle inflation in a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll. This comes as more voters said they were concerned about inflation than any other issue in a December Fox News poll, and only 22% said the Biden’s administration efforts to get inflation and rising prices under control were helping. The plurality (47%) said they were hurting.

Indeed, the issue of inflation hurting a president helps to put Biden’s bad position in perspective. The public reaction now looks at least somewhat similar to how the public was reacting to another president under whom inflation was an issue: Carter.


Overall, Biden’s rating are even worse, as a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that the president’s approval rating has sunk to 41 percent, representing a historic low in polls conducted by the group, according to The Hill. Facing another COVID-19 surge, rising consumer prices and his legislative agenda stalled in Washington, 55 percent of adults in the U.S. disapprove of the job Biden is doing as president.

Which is not to say that the usual suspects aren’t doing their best to prop up the administration.

Just one day before the CNN article, Bloomberg Opinion ran this impressive headline: “Biden’s Economic Performance Has Proved Unbeatable.”

The article by Matthew Winkler, co-founder and former editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, also cited Carter, but not quite in the same manner: “No first-year president going back to Carter comes close to matching the current White House occupant’s No. 1 or No. 2 ranking in each of 10 key measures.”

More from Winkler:

U.S. financial markets are outperforming the world by the biggest margin in the 21st century, and with good reason: America’s economy improved more in Joe Biden’s first 12 months than any president during the past 50 years notwithstanding the contrary media narrative contributing to dour public opinion.

Exceptional returns from dollar-denominated assets, especially the S&P 500 Index in both absolute terms and relative to its global counterparts, can be attributed to record-low debt ratios enabling companies to reap the biggest profit margins since 1950. Corporate America is booming because the Biden administration’s Covid-19 vaccination programs and $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan reduced the jobless rate to 4.2% in November from 6.2% in February, continuing an unprecedented rate of decline during the Covid-19 pandemic.


While listing the 10 market and economic indicators cited, the piece did acknowledge, “Per capita disposable income, which rose 1.08% this year, is the only comparable weakness for Biden.”

The ten factors evaluated are seen here:

  • Gross domestic product (1)
  • Profit growth (1)
  • S&P 500 performance (2)
  • Consumer credit (1)
  • Non-farm payrolls (2)
  • Manufacturing jobs (2)
  • Business productivity (2)
  • Dollar appreciation (2)
  • S&P 500 relative performance (2)
Tom Tillison


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