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Biden hits 63 percent approval rating in new AP poll

Sixty-three percent of American approve of President BidenJoe BidenPutin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting How the infrastructure bill can help close the digital divide Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE's job performance thus far, according to an Associated Press-NORC poll released Monday, up 2 percentage points from late March.

The poll found 96 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of independents and 23 percent of Republicans surveyed approve of Biden's work in his first three full months in office.

The survey also showed Americans with a growing sense of optimism about the direction of the country, with 54 percent saying the nation is on the right track, compared to 44 percent who believe it is on the wrong track. The 54 percent mark is the highest of any AP-NORC poll response to the question since 2017.

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Biden's overall approval rating is buoyed by his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, health care and the economy, according to the poll.

On the pandemic, 71 percent of Americans approve of Biden's performance, including 47 percent of Republicans. Biden has made it the centerpiece of his administration's agenda since taking office, pushing for economic relief measures and ramping up vaccine production and distribution.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans, meanwhile, approve of Biden's handling of the economy, while 42 percent disapprove. And 62 percent approve of Biden's work on health care so far, where he has prioritized expanding access to the Affordable Care Act.

Biden's approval is underwater on two issues, according to the poll: gun policy and immigration. On guns, 48 percent approve of the president's handling of the issue while 49 percent disapprove.

Biden has taken steps to crack down on so-called ghost guns and directed the Justice Department to look at ways to limit gun violence in the wake of mass shootings in Georgia, Colorado and Indianapolis.

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The president is also facing an uphill battle on immigration, with 43 percent approving of his work and 54 percent disapproving. The Biden administration faced a surge of migrants at the southern border in its first months in office, and the White House bungled its rollout of an increase in the refugee cap, initially saying it would not be increased before raising the cap last week amid pushback from Democrats.

The poll surveyed 1,842 people from April 29 to May 3, and it has a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points.

Its release comes as Biden faces challenge, however. An underwhelming jobs report released last week has raised new questions about his stewardship of the economy and how to best get Americans back to work. And the nation's vaccination rate has steadily slowed in recent weeks as the administration confronts a portion of the population hesitant or unwilling to get the shot.