Biden hits 54 percent approval in poll, higher than Trump ever hit

President Biden is beginning his tenure in the White House with more public support than former President Trump received at any point in his four years in office, according to a new Monmouth University Poll survey released Wednesday.

The survey shows the newly-inaugurated president with the approval of 54 percent of respondents, surpassing his predecessor’s high point of 46 percent in a Monmouth poll released in November. 

In the first Monmouth poll of his presidency, released in March 2017, Trump’s approval rating stood at 43 percent, while disapproval of his performance in the White House registered at 46 percent.

By comparison, 30 percent of respondents in the latest Monmouth poll said they disapprove of the job Biden has done in the opening days of his presidency, while another 16 percent said they have no opinion on his performance.

Despite the majority approval of Biden’s job performance, it’s still sharply divided along party lines; 90 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of independents gave the president positive reviews, while just 15 percent of Republicans did so, according to the poll. 

“Overall, there seems to be more goodwill for Biden than there was for Trump, but it really breaks down along partisan lines,” Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said, adding that, “right now, more people identify as Democrats than Republicans.”

Americans are somewhat more optimistic about Biden’s presidency than they were about Trump’s. Sixty percent of respondents said they feel positive about the policies the new president will pursue in the White House, while just over one-third — 35 percent — said they are pessimistic about his plans for the country.

By comparison, 50 percent of respondents reported feeling optimistic after Trump took office in 2017. At the time, 43 percent said they were pessimistic about the outlook for his tenure in the White House.

Roughly two-thirds of those polled believe it is at least somewhat likely that Biden will push policies that will bolster the middle class, the Monmouth poll found. That’s somewhat higher than the 61 percent who believed that Trump would do so when he took office four years ago.

Biden took his oath of office last week, entering his new job at a tumultuous time in the U.S. The coronavirus pandemic is still raging and the country is scrambling to vaccinate the most vulnerable Americans.

On top of that, the nation’s political climate reached a boiling point earlier this month when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers met to certify Biden’s Electoral College victory. The ensuing riot — which left five people, including a Capitol Police officer, dead — led to Trump’s second impeachment in the House. 

With a new president in the White House, the country’s lack of unity and the threat of domestic terrorism are among the issues Americans are most eager for the federal government to address.

Thirty-eight percent in the poll said that it is “extremely important” for the federal government to tackle domestic terrorism, while another 45 percent said that it is “very important” to do so. Meanwhile, 33 percent said it was “extremely important” to address the country’s lack of unity, while another 44 percent called it “very important,” according to the Monmouth poll.

Still, the coronavirus pandemic is the most urgent issue for Americans. Forty-seven percent said that it is “extremely important” for the federal government to tackle the outbreak, while 34 percent said it is “very important.”

Likewise, an overwhelming majority of Americans want the government to address the country’s jobs and unemployment issues, with 52 percent of those polled calling it “very important” and another 36 percent saying it is “extremely important,” the Monmouth poll found.

The Monmouth University Poll survey is based on responses from 809 U.S. adults gathered from Jan. 21-24. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Tags approval rating coronavirus pandemic Donald Trump Joe Biden monmouth poll Monmouth University Polling Institute
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