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Economy: Despite surging job numbers, most unhappy with conditions

By Lee Cleveland - July 3, 2023

In a recent national survey conducted by Fox News, it was found that a majority of voters in the country are dissatisfied with the current state of affairs and hold negative views about the economic conditions. The survey highlights the concerns and sentiments of the voters, shedding light on their perceptions of the country’s direction and their personal financial situations.

Dissatisfaction with Economic Conditions

The survey reveals that a significant portion of voters, approximately 76%, believe that the economy is in fair or poor shape. This rating indicates a slight improvement from the previous month’s negative rating of 83%. However, it is consistent with the overall sentiment that has prevailed throughout President Biden’s term. It is notable that three out of four voters consistently rate the economy unfavorably.

Historical Perspective

Comparing the current sentiment with the past, it is interesting to note that the views were even more negative during President Barack Obama’s tenure.

In June 2011, a staggering 94% of voters held a negative view of the economic conditions under President Obama. Additionally, around the same time, 69% expressed dissatisfaction with the country’s direction.

However, the country was in a recession back then.

Personal Financial Situation

When asked about their personal financial situations, only 11% of the respondents stated that they feel they are getting ahead financially. Although this number reflects a slight increase from 8% in January, it is significantly lower than the 17% reported two years ago in June 2021. On the other hand, 43% of voters feel they are holding steady, while a concerning 45% feel they are falling behind financially.

Partisan Divide

The survey highlights a notable partisan divide in perceptions of the country’s direction and personal financial situations. Among Republicans, 58% feel they are falling behind financially, whereas, among Democrats, 51% believe they are holding steady. Independents also express concern, with 53% feeling they are falling behind.

The stark differences in opinion based on political affiliation reflect the complexities and diverse experiences of the electorate.

Dissatisfaction with the Country’s Direction

Apart from economic concerns, the survey also measures overall satisfaction with the country’s direction. It reveals that 68% of voters are dissatisfied with how things are going in the country today. A significant majority of Republicans (91%) and independents (77%) express dissatisfaction, while a smaller majority of Democrats (58%) report being satisfied. These numbers indicate a general sense of discontent among voters, particularly among the opposition party.

Changing Sentiments

Although the level of satisfaction has increased slightly since January, with 32% of voters reporting contentment with the country’s direction, it is still lower than the 45% recorded earlier in President Biden’s term in April 2021. These fluctuations in sentiment underscore the evolving nature of public opinion and the influence of various factors on voters’ perceptions.

Approval Ratings

The survey also gauges the approval ratings of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. As of the survey’s findings, 44% of voters approve of the job President Biden is doing, while 55% disapprove. It is worth noting that Biden’s approval ratings have remained relatively stable, ranging between 42% and 46% over the past year.

In comparison, Vice President Kamala Harris receives a lower approval rating, with 41% of voters approving of the job she is doing, while 56% disapprove. Interestingly, a significant disparity is observed in the intensity of opinions, as twice as many voters strongly disapprove of Vice President Harris (40%) compared to those who strongly approve (18%).

Optimism Amidst Concerns

Despite the prevailing dissatisfaction and negative views, there are signs of cautious optimism in the survey.

The approval rating for President Biden’s handling of the economy has increased by six points since the previous month, with 38% approving and 60% disapproving.

These ratings represent the highest approval figures for President Biden’s economic policies in over a year, although they still reflect a net disapproval of 22 points.

This uptick in approval suggests a glimmer of hope and a slight shift in public sentiment.

Interpretation and Analysis

Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, from Beacon Research, who conducted the survey in collaboration with Republican Daron Shaw, acknowledges the modest improvement in economic optimism but cautions against drawing definitive conclusions. Anderson states that it is too early to determine whether the positive trend is a mere blip or a sustained change. Nonetheless, he believes that any level of economic optimism would be welcome news for the incumbent president, even if it is not sufficient to guarantee a successful re-election campaign.


Despite record-low unemployment, solid consumer spending, and staving off a recession (so far), inflation still carries the day.

Prices for almost everything have increased quite a bit in a short time, thus we have a survey that paints a picture of a dissatisfied electorate, with a majority of voters expressing unhappiness with the country’s direction and negative views about the state of the economy.

While there are slight improvements in economic optimism and approval ratings for President Biden’s handling of the economy, significant concerns persist. The survey reflects the ongoing complexities and divisions within the electorate, with partisan differences shaping perceptions and attitudes.


Tags: money