The 3 issues Joe Biden faces this week – including his plummeting popularity

Joe Biden’s team ‘in crisis mode’ says Stuart Varney

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President Joe Biden has had a difficult summer. His approval ratings in the polls have been plummeting since the US’s chaotic retreat from Afghanistan. This week, Mr Biden faces three key issues at home, just as he heads across the Atlantic to attend the UN COP26 in Glasgow.

Elections in Virginia

Virginians will take to the polls on November 2 to vote for their new Governor.

President Biden will be hoping to improve his increasingly unpopular image with a Democrat win, but pollsters predict disaster for his party.

The Democrat’s candidate, Terry McAuliffe is up against Republican Glenn Youngkin.

Although Mr Youngkin trailed former Governor McAuliffe in the polls two months ago by five points, he has since closed this gap significantly, no doubt adding to the despair of President Biden.

On the eve of election day, Mr Youngkin has pulled ahead of Mr McAuliffe and is now leading by one point, according to CNN.

A Republican win would be a big blow for Mr Biden’s party as well as his own reputation.

Biden climate change policies

As Mr Biden jets off to Glasgow to attend COP26, he faces further struggles at home, as intraparty negotiations are ongoing over his proposed climate change policies.

So far these negotiations haven’t been going well for the president.

Before his departure to Glasgow, Mr Biden had wanted to pass a big budget bill by the end of October in which he tried to squeeze his radical climate change policies.

But Mr Biden has failed to do it, and he was able only to sketch out a much-reduced budget plan that his party seemed likely to agree on.

Mr Biden had wanted to introduce a wave of social and climate change policies, which would cost $3.5 trillion, according to The Economist.

Almost a third of that (around $555bn) would be signposted for climate policies, such as creating a network of charging stations across the US and expanding tax credits for renewable energy producers.

Resistance from within his own party has led to key elements being scrapped from his plans.

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona were among some of the senior Democrats to object to Mr Biden’s plans, forcing him to axe key policies such as plans to penalise utilities for failing to shift to renewables.

Biden’s social policies

Mr Biden has been forced to scale back many of his planned social policies in his hastily re-written proposals after he faced a wave of backlash from within his own party.

In his new scaled-back plan, significant policies have been scrapped, such as a national paid-leave plan and plans to negotiate down the cost of prescription drugs.

Why has Joe Biden’s popularity fallen?

There have been a number of factors behind the fall in his approval rating.

America’s shambolic retreat from Afghanistan and the resurgence of COVID-19 has caused his popularity to plummet in the polls.

The US economy has struggled to recover from the pandemic.

It grew by just two percent over the summer which has further fuelled animosity towards Mr Biden.

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