A majority of Americans say they’re pessimistic about the country’s direction, according to a new poll from ABC News/Ipsos.
Compared to May, when 64% of respondents said they felt positive about where the country is headed, 55% now describe themselves as pessimistic — a 20-percentage-point reversal as the country faces continued COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy amid an outbreak of the highly contagious delta variant.
About two-thirds of Americans still support President Joe Biden’s efforts to combat the pandemic, but majorities disapprove of his performance on gun violence, immigration and crime, the poll showed.
The poll showed widening pessimism across the board regardless of age, income, education or political party.
Republicans remain steadfast in their disapproval of Biden’s performance (83%), while Democrats have seen their overall optimism about the country dip to 71% from April’s 89%.
The poll comes as Democrats and Republicans haggle over a Biden-initiated infrastructure deal and as a House select committee begins its investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack by a pro-Trump mob. Recent polling shows majorities of Republicans and former President Donald Trump’s voters say they believe false election claims just as multiple GOP state legislatures move forward with restrictive voting measures.
Biden’s overall approval rating has dipped six percentage points to 50%, his lowest mark since taking office in January, according to the latest Gallup poll.
Biden’s reduced rating comes as the delta variant spreads and increases cases among unvaccinated Americans, and amid continued polarization, according to Gallup.
For the first time, support for Biden among independents dipped below a majority to 48%, and Democratic support at 90% marks a new low as well.
Biden’s overall performance during his term’s first second quarter — an average of 53% — is still better than former Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton during the same time period.
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