Poll: Black Voters’ Approval of Joe Biden Takes 28-Point Plunge in Georgia

Poll: Black Voters’ Approval of Joe Biden Takes 28-Point Plunge in Georgia

President Joe Biden’s approval rating among black registered voters in Georgia has dropped nearly 30 percent since last May, according to a poll published this week by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The poll, conducted January 13 through 24, found 59.1 percent of black respondents approve of the way Biden is handling his job. Of those respondents, 25.5 percent said they “strongly approve” of his job handling, while 33.6 percent said they “somewhat approve” of it.

The approval numbers represent a deep 28.4 percent dive over the AJC’s last poll measuring Biden’s approval, which was conducted last year from April 20 to May 3.

That poll found 87.5 percent of black respondents approved of the way Biden was handling his job after three months in office. Of those respondents, 54.4 percent said they “strongly approve[d]” of Biden’s job handling, while 33.1 percent said they “approve[d]” of it.

In terms of disapproval numbers, the recent January poll found 36.3 percent of black respondents disapprove of Biden’s job handling, a 27.9 percent increase over last May when 8.4 percent said they disapproved of his job handling.

President Joe Biden's approval rating has tumbled among Black voters, and that could spell trouble for Democrats. However, frustration with Biden doesn’t appear to have weakened support for Stacey Abrams and U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock.https://t.co/YHyfG9PX4e

— Tia Mitchell, AJC’s Washington Correspondent (@ajconwashington) February 3, 2022

The percentage of black voters who think the country is headed down the right track versus the wrong track is almost perfectly inverted from last May’s poll. Last year’s poll showed 29 percent of black voters felt the country was headed down the wrong track, while 58.8 percent said it was headed in the right direction. Now, 56.5 percent of black voters say the country is headed down the wrong track, while 29.8 percent say it is headed in the right direction.

The January poll weighed top issues for voters, and among black voters, 31.1 percent said the “single most important issue facing Georgia today” is “elections/voting.” Other top issues included the “pandemic” at 19.6 percent, the “economy/jobs” at 15 percent, “other” at 9.4 percent, and “crime/public safety” at 8.4 percent.

As far as election laws, Georgia became ground zero on the issue after its last few highly competitive elections garnered national attention and were dominated by narratives about voter suppression and voter fraud.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) was the first governor after the 2020 presidential election to pass a voting overhaul bill, which aimed to improve election integrity and tightened certain aspects of the voting process like voter ID requirements and the quantity of ballot drop boxes. The bill was met with high praise from conservatives but disapproval from Democrats, including from Georgia Democrat voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, who repeatedly claimed without evidence that the bill would suppress the votes of racial minorities.

At the federal level, Democrats in D.C. have vowed to pass sweeping election reform legislation to standardize certain aspects of the election process across all states and, in effect, nullify parts of laws like the one in Georgia. However, because there is little to no Republican support for the effort, Democrat voting bills have failed multiple times in Senate votes and currently show no sign of future passage.

President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd at the Atlanta University Center Consortium on January 11, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris delivered remarks on voting rights legislation. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)

The AJC reported that from interviews with black Georgians, it gathered that the reasons for the decline in support for Biden from black voters “vary,” and added that those reasons “include his failure to overcome Republican filibusters of voting rights legislation, his handling of the pullout of troops in Afghanistan and an inability to deliver on campaign promises such as reducing student loan debt.”

Both polls were conducted by the University of Georgia’s School of Public & International Affairs. The January 2022 poll had a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent, and the May 2021 poll had a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percent.

Write to Ashley Oliver at . Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.

Ashley Oliver