A slight majority of Americans approve of the job performance of President Joe Biden, and at 52 per cent, his approval rating is 10 points higher than that of Donald Trump at the same point in his presidency.
According to the Washington Post/ABC News poll released Sunday, 42 per cent of Americans disapprove of how Joe Biden has handled his first three months in office. Mr Trump had an approval rating of 42 per cent and his disapproval stood at 53 per cent at this time in his tenure.
Thirty-four per cent of Americans say they strongly approve of Mr Biden, 35 per cent say the opposite, they strongly disapprove.
At a time of deep polarisation, Mr Biden’s approval rating is unlikely to get much higher as Americans dig into their partisan corners. His initial popularity seems to be down to his high approval among independents. His approval rating with this group, 47 per cent, is nine points higher than Mr Trump’s at this point during his time in office, which stood at 38 per cent.
According to the Pew Research Centre, nearly four in ten American adults, 38 per cent, identify as independents, but most of them lean towards one of the parties. Only 7 per cent said they didn’t lean in either direction, according to the 2019 research.
ABC political director Rick Klein tweeted: “Biden approval at 52% – 10 points higher than Trump at 100 days but still third lowest that far into a modern presidency. For the 14 presidents from Truman to Biden, the 100-day average is 66%.”
Meghan McCain, co-host of The View and daughter of late Arizona senator and the 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, tweeted ominously: “Some tea leaves Democrats would be wise to read here. Also, where’s all the bipartisanship and healing our soul we were promised?”
But Nicholas Grossman, International Relations professor at the University of Illinois, noted: “Biden’s 52 per cent is 10 points higher than Trump at 100 days, higher than Trump ever got, higher than Obama’s average (47.9%) and Bush’s (49.4%). The tea leaves say the presidential honeymoon period is a 20th-century relic, and over 50% approval is pretty good in a highly polarized age.”
The chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, Peter Baker, tweeted: “Biden is doing far better with the public than Trump as he approaches the 100-day mark, perâ© poll, but otherwise has the lowest net approval at this stage of any president going back to Eisenhower.”
Between 1992 and 2012, at least half of the American public preferred smaller government to big government. That figure has now dipped below 50 per cent, sitting at 48 per cent, with 45 per cent of respondents favouring a bigger government with more services.
In the poll, 53 per cent said they were concerned that Mr Biden will push too hard to increase the government’s size and role in society.
Partisanship after the acrimonious 2020 election and the aftermath of the 6 January Capitol riot isn’t abating, with 78 per cent of Republicans strongly disapproving of Mr Biden. 72 per cent of Democrats strongly disapproved of Mr Trump at this time in 2017.
This number is up sharply if compared to 2009 when 43 per cent of Republicans disapproved of the then-new president, Barack Obama. Mr Obama never reached the disapproval level with Republicans in his first three years as president that Mr Biden is now facing only three months into his first term.