How Joe Biden, Kamala Harris Approval Rating Compares

The majority of Americans disapprove of both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, according to a set of devastating analyses for the Democrats.

The approval polling tracker at FiveThirtyEight—which takes a weighted average of the polls—is recording a steady downward approval trend for the pair.

According to FiveThirtyEight, Harris has experienced a sharp decline in her approval ratings, with an updated average on April 21 that showed 58.1 percent disapprove of Harris compared to 32.1 percent who find her to be favorable, a -26 percent net rating.

The sudden spike reflects an outlying April 18-20 poll carried out by the Trafalgar Group, a partisan pollster for the Republican party which FiveThirtyEight rates as A-, that found 63 percent of participants disapproved of Harris.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks, alongside U.S Vice President Kamala Harris, after signing H.R. 55, the “Emmett Till Antilynching Act” in the Rose Garden of the White House on March 29, 2022 in Washington, DC. Harris and Biden's approval ratings have been in decline. Getty

However, even before that outlier survey was taken into account, Harris was underwater. On April 20, the average was 47.4 percent disapproval versus 39.8 percent approval, giving her a negative net rating of -7.6 percent.

Harris has faced growing criticism at home over her handling of the border crisis, currently flaring again, which Biden had tasked her to oversee. Moreover, her chief of staff Tina Flournoy is quitting the administration, the latest of several officials to resign from Harris' office.

And the upcoming book This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America's Future by New York Times correspondents Jonathan Martin and Alexander claims first lady Jill Biden argued against her husband picking Harris as his running mate.

Biden has also suffered falling ratings, though his approval has typically been higher than Harris'. As of April 22, the FiveThirtyEight tracker had Biden at 53 percent disapproval versus 42.3 percent approval, a net rating of -10.7 percent.

The president's approval numbers have remained in the low 40s since November last year, as the White House tried to grapple with record levels of inflation, the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

He has also failed so far to get his flagship Build Back Better agenda through Congress against stiff opposition in the 50-50 Senate from both the Republicans and two Democratic senators, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

The negative polling for Biden and Harris represents a wider downward trend for the Democrats, who are fighting to keep their majority control of Congress, which is under threat with the Republicans looking increasingly likely to perform well in November.

Moreover, the poor polling presents another headache for Democrats ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Harris had been viewed as a successor to Biden, but the incumbent has reportedly signaled his intention to run against the Republican nominee in 2024.

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

While there is no clear Republican candidate who will go up against the Democrats in 2024, former President Donald Trump remains a highly popular figure within his party and is showing signs that he plans to run again.

Earlier this month, a Morning Consult survey found that Trump had strong ratings among Republicans in Georgia (86 percent), North Carolina (87 percent), Ohio (80 percent), and Pennsylvania (77 percent).

But, the same survey found Trump's favorability had fallen slightly in Georgia and Ohio compared to January 2021, where he had been polling at 89 percent and 81 percent, respectively.