Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech hit back at one bad poll number

More people say they’re worse off financially under Joe Biden than any other president in the last 37 years, a poll this week found.

Nearly 4 in 10 Americans described being in worse financial shape now than when Biden took office two years ago, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Sunday. Only 16% said they’re in better shape.

It’s the worst showing since the pollsters first asked the question in 1986, when Ronald Regan was still president.

The findings, which come amid high inflation that is eroding the purchasing power of Americans, paint a bleak picture for Biden as he hits the mid-point of his four-year term. It also promises to make for a huge hurdle in his expected bid for reelection in 2024, which he could announce in the next few weeks.

In an effort to shore up his support and reverse the negative polling numbers, Biden used his State of Union address to detail how he wants to help Americans suffering from the economic hardship caused by inflation that reached a 40-year high of 9.1% in June. He spoke of a “blue-collar blueprint” to rebuild America that involves adding jobs—many blue collar—on top of the 12 million already created during his presidency.

Biden also talked about helping the needy and raising taxes on the wealthy. And he talked up the benefits of his $1 trillion infrastructure bill and nearly $300 billion in planned investment in building up the domestic semiconductor industry.

But Biden left a few economic problems unmentioned. For example, he skipped discussing housing prices, which are falling due to higher mortgage rates. Nor did he bring up the risk of recession, which is casting a pall over corporate America as it cuts costs out of fear the economy will deteriorate further.

The negative public sentiment found in the recent poll is in sharp contrast to what it found during the Trump administration. At the same point in his presidency, far fewer people—only 13%—said they were worse off financially, while more—25%—said they were better off, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll.

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