President Joe Biden's disapproval rating hit a new high in December as more voters signaled their unhappiness with his administration's supervision of the economy and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fifty-six percent of voters now say they disapprove of the job Biden is doing, the worst such reading of his presidency as he approaches the end of his first year in office, according to a new CNBC/Change Research poll. Prior polls in the series showed Biden's disapproval rating at 54% in early September and 49% in April.
Biden's approval rating is now at 44%, down from 46% in September and 51% in April.
The latest sign of trouble for Biden comes as his administration looks to tackle a wide range of economic and political problems ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, which will decide the balance of power in Congress.
The White House is scrambling to quell fears about price acceleration and inflation, resurrect the president's Build Back Better climate-and-family legislation, and rejuvenate the country's public health response as the omicron variant drives a new spike in Covid cases.
Frustrations over the economy are the main culprit behind Biden's flagging popularity as nearly every demographic declared it their No. 1 issue.
The economy was the top priority for men and women, every age cohort, Latino and white voters, and those with and without college educations. Black respondents, who named racism their chief priority, said the economy takes second place.
Sixty percent of the survey's 1,895 respondents said they disapprove of Biden's handling of the economy, marking a six-point decline in approval from September.
On personal economic issues, voters are even more likely to criticize the president. Some 72% disapprove of his handling of the price of everyday goods, while 66% disapprove of his efforts to help their wallets.
Biden also scored poorly on issues voters are otherwise likely to say are going well.
For example, most people who said they plan to vote in the 2022 midterms say the U.S. stock market is doing "excellent" or "good" while just 46% say it's doing "not so good" or "poor."
But when asked whether they approve or disapprove of Biden's handling of the market, just 44% said they strongly or somewhat approve compared to 56% who somewhat or strongly disapprove.
In fact, a greater percentage of respondents said they feel the U.S. stock market is doing worse than the year-earlier period than those who said it's doing better.
Those opinions, gathered from Dec. 17 to 20, run counter to what was one of the market's best years in decades. All three major U.S. equity indexes posted mammoth double-digit gains in 2021 compared to their historical annual average of around 7% or 8%.
The S&P 500 finished the year up 26.89% and posted a record close at least once a month. The broad market index notched 70 such record closes in 2021, the second-highest annual total behind 1995's 77 closing highs. Continue reading on CNBC.