President Biden continues to lose ground with the American public on a range of issues

New ABC News/Ipsos poll finds Americans divided on involvement in Ukraine, Supreme Court

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Jocelyn Duran Account Manager, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, January 30, 2022

One year into his administration, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds that President Joe Biden has lost ground with the American public on a range of issues, but perhaps most impactfully, on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Views of the President, while still highly driven by partisan affiliation, have softened across segments of American society. This comes as the President is faced with new challenges and an ambivalent public. Particularly looking at the potential conflict in Ukraine, Americans are divided on if U.S. troops should be used to try to dissuade Russia. Likewise, on the Supreme Court, Americans are divided on the legal versus political nature of justices. However, a majority of Americans believe Biden should cast a wide net for potential new justices and not only consider Black women as he has pledged to do.

Detailed findings

1. Americans are divided on the Supreme Court and Biden’s handling of a new justice.

  • Americans are split on believing the Supreme Court decides cases “on the basis of law” (38%) versus “on the basis of their partisan political views” (43%).
    • Republicans are more likely to believe law prevails (46% law, 33% partisan views) while Democrats are more likely to think politics prevail (32% law, 52% partisan views). 
  • Americans overwhelmingly believe Joe Biden should “consider all possible nominees” (76%) rather than “consider only nominees who are Black women, as he has pledged to do” (23%).
    • Partisanship drives major differences in attitudes about the next Supreme Court pick, with virtually all Republicans saying “consider all” (95%) compared to only half of Democrats (54%).

2. Americans are divided on potential involvement in Ukraine.

  • When asked if they would support or oppose “sending U.S. troops into Eastern Europe to try to discourage a Russian invasion of Ukraine”, Americans are split evenly between support (29%), opposition (38%), and indecision (32% don’t know).
    • Democrats are slightly more supportive of U.S. engagement with Ukraine (41% support, 29% oppose) while Republicans are more in opposition (28% support, 46% oppose).

3. President Biden continues to lose ground with the American public on a range of issues including response to the coronavirus and economic recovery.

  • One year after entering office, Biden has lost the approval of almost one in five Americans (19%) on his response to the coronavirus, dropping from 69% approve in January 2021 to 50% approve in January 2022.
    • Views of Biden remain strongly tied to partisanship with four in five (82%) Democrats approving his handling of the pandemic versus less than one in five (16%) of Republicans.
    • However, declines in approval are broad based. Biden has lost 15 points with Democrats (97% -> 82%), 24 points with Republicans (40% -> 16%), and 17 points with independents (70% -> 53%) from January 2021 to now.
  • The President has lost similar levels of support on his handling of the economic recovery, down 18 points from 60% approve in March 2021 to 42% approve now.
  • Public approval of other facets of Biden’s administration are also more negative than positive including two-thirds (69%) disapproving of his handling of gun violence, 69% disapproving his handling of inflation, 64% disapproving his handling of crime, and 64% disapproving his handling of immigration.

4. Americans feel gloomy about the economy, despite positive macro-economic indicators.

  • Only one in four Americans (25%) would describe the nation’s economy as excellent or good.
  • The large majority of Americans (75%) describe the economy as not so good (47%) or poor (28%).
    • Partisanship drives some of the assessment with Democrats split (46% good, 53% not good) vs Republicans very critical (7% good vs 93% not good).

About the Study

This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted January 28-29, 2022 by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 510 adults age 18 or older.

The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, the largest and most well-established online probability-based panel that is representative of the adult US population. Our recruitment process employs a scientifically developed addressed-based sampling methodology using the latest Delivery Sequence File of the USPS – a database with full coverage of all delivery points in the US. Households invited to join the panel are randomly selected from all available households in the U.S. Persons in the sampled households are invited to join and participate in the panel. Those selected who do not already have internet access are provided a tablet and internet connection at no cost to the panel member. Those who join the panel and who are selected to participate in a survey are sent a unique password-protected log-in used to complete surveys online. As a result of our recruitment and sampling methodologies, samples from KnowledgePanel cover all households regardless of their phone or internet status and findings can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to the general population.

The study was conducted in both English and Spanish. The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, Census region, metropolitan status, household income, and party identification. The demographic benchmarks came from 2021 Current Population Survey (CPS) from the US Census Bureau. Party ID benchmarks are from recent ABC News/Washington Post telephone polls. The weighting categories were as follows:

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error takes into account the design effect, which was 1.27. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on sub-samples. In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest Insights and Analytics company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

  • Partisanship drives some of the assessment with Democrats split (46% good, 53% not good) vs Republicans very critical (7% good vs 93% not good).
    • Gender (Male, Female) by Age (18–29, 30–44, 45–59, and 60+)
    • Race/Hispanic Ethnicity (White Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Other or 2+ Races Non-Hispanic, Hispanic)
    • Education (High School graduate or less, Some College, Bachelor and beyond)
    • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West)
    • Metropolitan status (Metro, non-Metro)
    • Household Income (Under $25,000, $25,000-$49,999, $50,000-$74,999, $75,000-$99,999, $100,000-$149,999, $150,000+)
    • Party ID (Democrat, Republican, Independent, Something else)
The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Jocelyn Duran Account Manager, US, Public Affairs