Dems look ahead to midterms as Biden's approval rating dips

One year into his term, President Joe Biden's approval ratings have dropped from 59% last summer to 43% according to a new Associated Press survey.

"The only president of the last ten presidents who had a lower approval rating at this point was Donald Trump who had 39% at this point. So Joe Biden should be worried," said Henry Brady, a UC Berkeley Professor of Political Science.

Brady says President Biden has been able to make progress on parts of his agenda despite the pandemic challenges. This past year his administration has sent relief checks to families and seen a big rebound in the economy with a low 3.9% unemployment rate and quick growth.

"Biden has gotten very significant legislation through. He got the COVID Relief Act through last March which is about $1.9 trillion...then he got the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure act passed," said Brady.

But with the omicron variant's spike in COVID cases, inflation, and the failure to pass voting rights bills and his "Build Back Better" proposal, President Biden is facing criticism from Republicans and from some progressive Democrats who say his agenda isn't going far enough.

"Biden has tried to do very, very big things. And to do very, very big things when you have 50 people in the Senate is almost going to be impossible," said Brady.

"I don't think I've overpromised at all and I'm going to stay on this track," said President Biden.

Biden says he'll still fight to pass big chunks of the build back better bill, a change in strategy which might prove more productive for Democrats.

"The American public is in favor of lower pharmaceutical costs, work to try and deal with climate change. The child tax credit, with universal preschool education," said Professor Brady, "The trouble is they were trying to do all of these all at once. And it was going to be too expensive in the minds of some Democrats like Joe Manchin. And furthermore, it was a hard thing to sell because it wasn't just one thing. It was lots of things. I think if you break it up, you focus on one or two things, say these are the things we're going to do. We're going to pay for them. I bet they'll get that done."

In downtown Alameda, some voters said they are disappointed with President Biden's first year.

"Now I'm not going to lie, "I haven't really seen any changes in office that would be significant enough to meet my expectations," said Jacob Moore Taylor of San Lorenzo. 

SEE ALSO: Biden's 1st year in office: A look at administration's accomplishments, stumbles

"It's been partisan for the last 6-8 years, but it doesn't seem to have gotten any better and that was the big hope and the big promise we saw with the election last year," said Theresa Massie, Co-Owner of Park Street Wine Cellars

Others say they think he's doing the best he can in the face of Republican opposition.

"I think that his intentions are good, but it's hard to get any of the things through that he can get through with presidential power alone," said Kelsey Moffett, Alameda

President Biden said he plans to spend more time getting his message out to the American people, something Democrats hope might help the party during the upcoming midterm elections, as they face a possible loss of majority control in the House.

Jana Katsuyama is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Jana at and follow her on Twitter @JanaKTVU or Facebook @NewsJana or