As inflation surges, Biden's approval rating drops to 41% -Reuters/Ipsos poll

U.S. President Biden announces administration actions to lower gasoline prices at the White House in Washington
U.S. President Joe Biden announces the release of 1 million barrels of oil per day for the next six months from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as part of administration efforts to lower gasoline prices, during remarks in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building’s South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 31, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

WASHINGTON, April 12 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden's public approval rating fell to 41% this week, a blow to his Democratic Party's hopes of retaining control of Congress in November's elections, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll.

Sagging under the weight of higher consumer costs, the 41% approval rating was just above Biden's all-time low of 40% hit in mid-March, one of the lowest levels of support in his presidency. The drop suggests that the small burst of momentum Biden briefly enjoyed last week, when he hit 45%, has stalled.

Inflation, which hit a 40-year high on Tuesday, is seen as a major liability for his party as it heads into the elections. Americans are struggling with rising energy and food costs fueled by the war in Ukraine.

The poll found Americans want Biden to prioritize economic issues, with 27% saying the economy is the most important problem facing the United States today.

On Tuesday, Biden unveiled plans to extend availability of higher biofuel blends of gasoline during the summer to curb soaring fuel costs and to cut reliance on foreign energy sources. read more

Democrats are widely expected to lose control of the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate to Republicans, who would likely block many of Biden's legislative efforts.

The two-day national poll found 53% of Americans disapprove of Biden's job performance. Only one-quarter of Americans said they believe the country was headed in the right direction.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll is conducted online in English throughout the United States. The latest poll gathered responses from a total of 1,005 adults, including 444 Democrats and 369 Republicans. It has a credibility interval - a measure of precision - of +/- 4 percentage points.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Ross Colvin and David Gregorio

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