WASHINGTON — A new poll commissioned by a President Joe Biden-aligned super PAC finds the president’s overall approval has improved in three battleground states, but voters say he isn’t handling issues like the economy and employment.
The Unite the Country survey, provided exclusively to NBC News, found that among 1,500 likely voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Biden’s approval rating rose slightly from 42% in May to 45% in September.
Approval ratings in those states for former President Donald Trump fell from 44% in May to 39% in September.
More than half, 56%, said they approved of Biden’s handling of the Covid response, and 50% approved of his handling of the war in Ukraine, while voters were also split on his handling of abortion and rights reproductive.
The poll found 54% said they disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy and jobs, 51% disapprove of his handling of health care and 57% disapprove of his handling of crime and public safety. At least 60% of respondents in the three battleground states said they disliked Biden’s handling of immigration, inflation and the national debt.
Unite the Country highlighted favorably what voters think of some of the Biden administration’s legislative victories. The poll found, for example, that 82% said it was very or somewhat important for the president to sign legislation allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug costs. Nearly 80% said they thought his actions to fight crime and support the police had been important and that his work to revamp the country’s infrastructure was important.
“While the environment has improved dramatically over the past 7 months for Democrats, the reality is that neither side has made the deal,” the group said in a statement. “As we’ve seen in past midterm cycles, these events can erupt late, and no Democrat should rest for a second until November.”
The PAC said it “will continue to educate voters in swing states on the successes of the Biden administration.”
Asked how voters planned to vote for the Senate in November, an average of 52% in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin said they would vote for the Democratic nominee, and 48% said they planned to vote for the Republican. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents, with Cook Political Report rating the Wisconsin race as a draw and the race for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat as Democratic leaning.
When asked how they plan to vote for congressional candidates in their precincts, 50% of likely voters said they plan to vote for the Democrat, while 47% said they would vote for the Republican. . Some of the most competitive races this general election cycle — which could determine which party holds a majority in the House for the next two years — are the congressional races for House seats in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
The poll, which surveyed 500 likely voters in each battleground state from September 14-19, reported a margin of sampling error of 2.5% at a 95% confidence interval.
Jonathan Allen contributed.