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Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden's average approval rating has dropped below 50% for the first time since taking office, according to trackers from FiveThirtyEight and RealClearPolitics.

Driving the news: The dip in the president's approval rating is likely tied to the surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant. The downward trend precedes Biden's response to the crisis in Afghanistan, which has drawn intense criticism.

The big picture: Biden has a 49.8% approval rating in the FiveThirtyEight average and 49.4% approval rating in the RCP average.

  • This marks a precipitous decline from the FiveThirtyEight peak of 55.1% in March and the RCP peak of 55.7% in April.
  • Former President Trump's average approval rating mostly hovered between 40%-45% during his term, while former President Obama's largely stayed between 45%-50%, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Go deeper

Nov 1, 2021 - Podcasts

Unpacking the climate action in Glasgow

COP 26, the annual UN Climate Conference, began yesterday in Glasgow, Scotland. We got a preview of how things might go after the G20 Summit in Rome — and well, not great news. World leaders set a target of reaching carbon neutrality around mid-century. But they left Rome with few concrete targets or commitments on climate change.

  • Plus, President Biden’s approval rating hits a new low.
  • And, another terrible COVID milestone for the world.

Guests: Axios' Ben Geman and Mike Allen.

Credits: Axios Today is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Alex Sugiura, Sabeena Singhani, and Lydia McMullen-Laird. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com. You can text questions, comments and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice memo to 202-918-4893.

Go deeper:

Exclusive: Biden administration raises minimum wage for federal employees to $15

A poster demanding a federal $15-per-hour minimum wage seen near the White House in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 26, 2021. Photo: Erin Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Federal agencies are being directed to raise the minimum wages for government employees to $15 an hour, according to new guidance from the Office of Personnel Management shared first with Axios.

Why it matters: The guidance will impact almost 70,000 federal employees, most of which work at the Departments of Agriculture, Defense and Veterans Affairs. OMP is directing agencies to implement the new wage by Jan. 30.

Kate Marino, author of Markets
58 mins ago - Economy & Business

The Federal Reserve is open to creating a digital dollar

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Federal Reserve finally released a much-delayed paper yesterday opining on the pros and cons of developing its own central bank digital currency (CBDC), but without coming to any firm conclusions.

Why it matters: Around the world, there are now 23 CBDCs either in pilot or formally launched. They have morphed from a theoretical concept into real-world digital cash, changing the way governments and millions of people use money — but not in the U.S.