Americans are feeling a little bit better about the direction of the country, Congress, the economy, and President Joe Biden. Or instead, they are just feeling less bad about how things are going. The latest Economist/YouGov poll finds that the share of Americans believing the country is off on the wrong track dropped 7 percentage points in the last week (to 63% from 70%).
Biden experienced a slight lift in approval this week, coming as his party cemented a key legislative goal. The Inflation Reduction Act — which was passed by Congress and signed into law by Biden this week — is a broadly popular law. By 53% to 31%, Americans support it. Approval of Congress is also up slightly, with 20% of Americans approving of how the legislative body is handling its job (up from 15% last week and its highest rating since April 2020). The share of Americans disapproving of Congress also dropped, to 52% from 58%.
Biden's approval rating rose 4 points in the last week – and is above 40% for the first time in two months. Democratic approval is up 5 points (80% now approve, the highest rating since May). While Republican and Independent approval rates of Biden are up only a little, both groups' disapproval rates are down, too.
A few measures of approval of Biden's handling of specific issues are also up:
On his handling of jobs and the economy, 42% approve, the highest share on this issue since June. Less than half (48%) disapprove.
On his handling of health care, 44% approve, the highest share for Biden on health care for all of 2022. About the same share (43%) disapprove.
On his handling of COVID-19, 47% approve (+4 points since last week) and 43% disapprove (-2). Handling of COVID has been one issue area where Biden has maintained generally better evaluations than on other issues, though they have not always been more positive than negative.
On his handling of monkeypox, 34% approve and 36% do not.
Biden's approval ratings on other contentious issues remain more negative than positive. On issues such as immigration (29% approve, 49% disapprove), abortion (37% approve, 50% disapprove), and education (39% approve, 45% disapprove), more Americans disapprove than approve of his handling of them.
- Oana Dumitru and Carl Bialik contributed to this article