Biden gets low marks on handling crime, immigration: poll

As President Biden approaches the end of his first year in office, more than half of likely voters believe he is doing a bad job of handling crime and immigration issues, according to a new poll. 

The Rasmussen Reports survey found that 51 percent of respondents gave Biden a “poor” rating for his approach to crime and law enforcement issues, while only 31 percent rated the president as “excellent” or “good” on the matter.

On immigration-related issues, 54 percent of likely voters graded Biden as “poor” and only 27 percent graded him as “excellent” or “good.”

Even Biden’s biggest supporters rated him poorly on immigration. Among respondents who strongly approved of his job performance as president, the poll found that only 38 percent gave Biden an “excellent” rating on the issue.

The survey also showed indications that Biden’s own party is losing faith in the president. Fifty-seven percent of Democrats rated Biden’s handling on crime and law enforcement issues as “excellent” or “good,” down from 62 percent in July. 

The recent survey showed that 57 percent of Democrats rated Biden’s handling on crime and law enforcement issues as “excellent” or “good,” down from 62 percent in July.
EPA/SHAWN THEW

The poll – which surveyed 1,000 likely voters Dec. 19 and 20 – found that majorities of both Republicans (77 percent) and unaffiliated voters (56 percent) gave Biden a “poor” rating for his handling of crime and law enforcement issues. By the same token, 78 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of unaffiliated voters gave Biden a “poor” rating on immigration.

The positive and negative views on Biden’s handling of the different issues were consistent across the board, with 79 percent of voters who said Biden was doing an “excellent” job of handling immigration believing he was doing similarly well on crime and law enforcement. Likewise, 95 percent of respondents who gave the president a “poor” rating on crime and law enforcement also gave him one on immigration. 

The survey also found that black voters are more likely to view Biden positively on those issues, with 40 percent giving him an “excellent” or “good” rating on crime and law enforcement while 30 percent of white voters and 30 percent of other minorities gave a similar rating. 

By contrast, 53 percent of white voters, 52 percent of other minorities, and 37 percent of black voters gave Biden a “poor” rating on the issue. 

On immigration, 34 percent of black voters, 26 percent of white voters and 24 percent of other minorities rated Biden’s handling of the issue as “excellent” or “good.” By contrast, 57 percent of white voters, 52 percent of other minorities and 40 percent of black voters gave the president a “poor” rating on immigration. 

Black Voters Matter marchers carry signs calling to "Save US Democracy."
The survey found that black voters are more likely to view Biden positively on crime and law enforcement compared to white voters or those from other minority groups.
Andrew Kelly/AP Images for Center for Popular Democracy

The survey comes during the final week of 2021, a year marred by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the chaotic troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, soaring inflation, historic illegal border crossing numbers, and a supply chain crisis. 

As the White House has attempted to grapple with the various issues, the approval ratings for Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have steadily declined. 

Democrats face a tough year in 2022 as they look to keep the majority in the House and Senate. At least 23 House Democrats have announced their intention not to run for reelection, opening the path for Republicans to seize back power in the lower chamber of Congress.

Visitors take photographs in front of the White House.
Democrats hope to keep the majority in the House and Senate, but at least 23 House Democrats have announced their intention not to run for reelection, opening the path for Republicans to seize back power in the lower chamber of Congress.
REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz