Biden Approval Under Water in California for the First Time in His Presidency

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
November 8, 2023

President Joe Biden has lost favor with Californians for the first time in his presidency, according to a statewide poll released on Wednesday.

Some 52 percent of Californians disapprove of the president’s job performance while 44 percent approve—a reversal from earlier this year when 57 percent approved and just 39 disapproved, UC Berkeley’s Institute of Government Studies found in its latest survey. Biden’s ratings have plummeted significantly within his own party, and particularly among women, Latinos, Asians, and Californians under 40. Voters are the most disgruntled with his handling of immigration and inflation.

Biden’s lackluster results are the latest bad polling news for the president, who is sinking in national polls and trails GOP frontrunner Trump by 4 percentage points in the latest CNN poll.

"While Biden is in no danger of losing California, his low approval ratings underscore the deep challenges the president faces in solidifying the support of his Democratic base and appealing to swing voters," IGS co-director Eric Schickler said. "It is a clear warning sign for his national campaign."

Among California Democrats, who outnumber Republicans in the state nearly 2-1, Biden’s favorability has fallen from 76 percent in May to 69 percent. The number of Democrats who disapprove of his performance climbed by nearly 10 percentage points in the same time period.

Sixty-one percent of Californians, who experience the nation’s highest fuel prices as well as skyrocketing energy and water costs, disapprove of Biden’s handling of inflation. And 60 percent also disapprove of his immigration policies, years after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D.) declared California a "sanctuary state."

The same poll shows former President Donald Trump surging with the state’s Republican voters, 57 percent of whom say he is their favored candidate compared with the 12 percent who chose Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R.), his closest runner-up. This is a change from February of this year, when Trump had the support of just 29 percent of California’s GOP voters compared with 37 percent for DeSantis.