Biden approval rating nears record low after classified documents discovery: survey

President Biden’s approval rating has dropped to 40 percent, according to a new poll, amid criticism over the handling of classified documents that have been discovered in a former office and at his Wilmington, Del., home.

A new Reuters-Ipsos poll showed 40 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s performance in office. The three-day poll concluded on Sunday, which was the final day of news about classified document discoveries and fell right in the middle of the White House’s messaging around the issue.

The rating approaches Biden’s lowest approval rating, which was 36 percent in May and June. The new approval rating is a notable change from earlier this month, when the president’s approval rating had reached its highest point since October 2021, climbing to 44.1 percent.

The poll was conducted days after CBS broke the news that documents were found in November in an office Biden used in Washington between his time as vice president and the 2020 presidential election. Then, over the course of last week, two more batches of documents turned up at Biden’s Wilmington home.

White House officials have been adamant that they are limited in how much they can say about the discovery of the documents, what’s in them and when the president was informed of the situation, citing an ongoing Justice Department investigation and the appointment of a special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The president, last week, said that he was surprised about the discovery of the documents in his old office and does not know what is inside them. Meanwhile, Republicans have been energized by the situation and have bashed the president for his handling of documents.

Despite the controversy over the documents, Biden is on track to signal his reelection plans in the next few weeks. Biden will deliver the State of the Union on Feb. 7 and the president intends to signal he will seek a second term around that time.

The latest Reuters-Ipsos poll was conducted Jan. 13-15 among a total of 1,035 respondents. The margin of error in the poll is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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