Flurry of polls provide boost to Biden
A flurry of new polls released Thursday underscored the popularity of the COVID-19 relief package and solid approval ratings for President Biden as he passes the 50-day mark of his presidency.
The polls show broad support for the relief measure, which Biden signed into law from the Oval Office on Thursday. The surveys also found consistent and steady numbers of Americans approving of Biden’s handling of the pandemic, as well as for the overall job he’s doing so far as president.
A CBS News survey put Biden’s overall job approval rating at 60 percent, although that is well higher than what other recent polls have found.
According to new data from Pew Research, 54 percent approve and 42 percent disapprove of Biden’s performance. At this point in former President Trump’s first term, he was at 44 percent approval, while former President Obama was 20 points higher, at 64 percent.
Not all surveys showed Biden above 50 percent. A new NPR-PBS Newshour-Marist poll put his job approval at 49 percent, however that survey also found that 52 percent have a favorable view of Biden personally, compared to 41 percent who view him negatively.
Biden has been unquestionably boosted in his first two months in office by his response to the coronavirus pandemic and the passage of the popular relief bill he signed into law Thursday.
The CBS poll found that 75 percent of Americans approve of the bill, including 94 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of independents, and 46 percent of Republicans.
Republicans have criticized the bill as being stuffed with unrelated payouts to special interest groups, but the NPR poll found that only one-third of Americas believe the bill goes too far. A plurality, 37 percent, said the bill is just right and 21 percent said it doesn’t go far enough.
Biden will hit the road shortly to sell the nation on the merits of the relief bill, which was passed without any Republican support.
The NPR, CBS and Pew surveys all found that about two-thirds of Americans are confident in Biden’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. In the Pew survey, Biden’s handling of the pandemic surged from 52 percent last month to 65 percent now.
According to NPR, about one-third of Republicans approve of Biden’s handling of the pandemic, including 22 percent of Trump supporters. Democrats are almost unanimously supportive of Biden’s handling of the pandemic.
CBS found that about half of all voters surveyed are frustrated that the vaccine distribution is moving too slowly, but that number is down from 61 percent last month.
About two-thirds of all voters in the NPR poll said they would get the vaccine or have already received it.
However, about one-third of Americans say they won’t get the vaccine, presenting an ongoing challenge for Biden as states move to reopen their economies.
The trend is good — in September, 44 percent said they wouldn’t get vaccinated.
But the percentage of those who will not get vaccinated is higher in some communities of color and with young people, as about 37 percent of Latinos and people under the age of 45 said they would not get vaccinated. About a quarter of Black people and white people said they will not get the shots.
Biden’s job approval rating is strongest among Black people, with 87 percent saying they approve, including 71 percent saying they strongly approve. Biden’s job approval rating among Hispanics is at 67 percent, and it’s at 52 percent among white people, according to Pew.
Nearly 60 percent of women approve of the job Biden is doing, compared to 49 percent of men.
Pew found there is skepticism that Biden can fulfill his campaign promise of uniting a divided country, with 52 percent saying they do not have confidence that he’ll be able to pull it off.
The Democratic Party is considerably more popular than the GOP at the moment.
Biden’s party posts a positive 51-47 split, while 60 percent have a negative view of Republicans and only 38 percent view the GOP favorably.
Sixty percent of voters view both parties as too extreme.
The NPR-PBS-Marist survey of 1,227 adults was conducted between March 3 and March 8 and has a 3.4 percentage point margin of error.
The Pew Research poll of 12,055 adults was conducted between March 1 and March 7 and has a 1.5 percentage point margin of error.
The CBS survey of 1,306 adults was conducted between March 9 and March 10 and has a 3.3 percentage point margin of error.
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