President Biden’s approval rating in his first days in office is higher than Donald Trump ever achieved during his four years as president, two new polls have found.
A Morning Consult tracking poll published Monday found that 56 percent of voters approve of Biden’s job performance, while 34 percent disapprove. At the same early juncture of Trump’s presidency, 46 percent of Americans polled said they approved of his job performance, and the polling high point for his term in office came in March 2017, when his approval rating hit 52 percent.
A second poll, conducted by Hill-HarrisX and also released on Monday, put Biden’s approval rating at 63 percent, while 37 percent said they disapprove of the job he was doing so far. Trump, by contrast, reached an approval rating high of 52 percent in an April 2020 survey by the same pollster.
The kickoff to Biden’s presidential term has been marked by a series of executive orders that have aimed to either correct or overturn policies put in place by executive orders signed by Trump, including rejoining the Paris climate accord, rescinding a ban on transgender troops from serving in the U.S. military and lifting a ban on travel to the U.S. from several Muslim and African countries.
In part, the swift reversal of controversial Trump policies has solidified Biden’s standing with his party. The Morning Consult poll found that 91 percent of Democrats approve of Biden’s job performance, compared with just 4 percent of Democrats who disapprove and 5 percent who said they have no opinion. At this same juncture in Trump’s presidency, 83 percent of Republicans said they approved of his job performance.
Biden is also doing better than Trump with independent voters, the Morning Consult poll found. While 49 percent said they approve of Biden’s early job performance, 34 percent said they disapprove. The approval figure is 8 points higher than what Trump notched four years ago.
Of course, both tracking polls are merely a snapshot at the start of what may prove a difficult year for the country. Biden himself has predicted that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic still lies ahead, with deaths from COVID-19 poised to top 500,000 next month and the economy still crippled due to the pandemic. Biden has used orders meant to address the pandemic, but with the evenly divided U.S. Senate in gridlock, a new stimulus package to help Americans remains elusive.
Executive orders, which have become commonplace in an era of partisan congressional gridlock, go only so far in addressing the big problems faced by the nation. As a result, their impact on a president’s approval rating can be short-lived.
When Trump began his term as president in January 2017, Gallup measured his approval rating at 45 percent. In early 2020, shortly after the Senate voted to acquit him on impeachment charges, he hit an approval rating high of 49 percent for his presidency. But the week before he left office, his approval had fallen to just 34 percent, and Gallup noted that “his 41% average approval rating throughout his presidency is four points lower than for any of his predecessors.”
Gallup has yet to release its first poll tracking Biden’s approval rating.
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