AP poll finds Biden with 61 percent approval rating

President Biden’s handling of the pandemic and coronavirus economy has helped fuel a 61-percent job approval rating as he enters his third month in office, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research published Wednesday. 

The study found an overwhelmingly positive job approval rating among Democrats — 96 percent — despite just 22 percent of Republicans saying they approve of the job he's doing. 

Biden’s overall approval from 6 in 10 Americans sits well above ratings measured for his predecessor, former President TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election MORE, at the same point in 2017. 

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The news service noted that Trump not once reached more than 50 percent in his overall approval rating in any AP-NORC poll during his presidency. 

Wednesday’s study found that COVID-19 remains the top issue for Americans after more than a year of the pandemic, with 73 percent of respondents approving of Biden’s handling of COVID-19, including an unusually high amount of support among Republicans polled, with about half approving. 

The survey, conducted from March 26 to 29, found bolstered support for Biden on the economy just weeks after the passage of his sweeping $1.9 trillion relief bill, which included additional stimulus payments to Americans, unemployment aid and funding for state and local governments to assist in vaccine distribution. 

The AP-NORC poll found that roughly 66 percent of American adults polled now support Biden’s handling of the economy, an increase from 55 percent recorded in February. 

The study comes as the country experiences a fourth wave of the pandemic, with data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing an average of 65,000 new daily cases in the past week. This is an increase of about 10,000 cases per day from two weeks ago. 

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has continued to tout efforts to ramp up vaccine distribution across the country. As of Wednesday, nearly 38 percent of American adults had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, with roughly 21 percent fully vaccinated, according to the CDC

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Despite Biden’s high marks on the pandemic and economic policy, Americans are more sharply divided when it comes to his handling of gun policy and immigration. 

Wednesday’s AP-NORC poll found that 45 percent support Biden on gun policy, compared to 52 percent who are against his approach. 

Following this month’s deadly mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, Colo., Biden suggested that he would consider executive actions on gun reform, and has also urged Congress to reauthorize the federal assault weapons ban and enact more stringent background check requirements for gun purchases. 

On immigration, about 42 percent approve of Biden’s performance, while 44 percent have a negative view of the president’s handling of migrants and border security. 

Biden in recent weeks has faced mounting bipartisan pressure to address the surge in migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, including a large number of unaccompanied minors. 

Wednesday’s poll, which surveyed 1,166 American adults, reported a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.