Overall, 52 percent of adults say they approve of the job Biden is doing, compared with 42 percent who disapprove. At this point in his presidency four years ago, Trump’s rating was nearly the reverse, with approval at 42 percent and disapproval at 53 percent. Overall, 34 percent of Americans say they strongly approve of Biden’s performance, compared with 35 percent who strongly disapprove.
Biden receives the highest marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with 64 percent of adults — including 33 percent of Republicans — giving him positive ratings. His approval rating for his handling of the economy stands at 52 percent. But 53 percent say they disapprove of the way he has dealt with the immigration situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, a problem that has vexed his administration for much of its first months.
Although his first sizable initiatives enjoy majority support, the poll also finds that by 2 to 1, Americans say that Biden should be willing to make “major changes” to his proposals to win Republican support, rather than trying to enact proposals without making major changes and getting no backing from congressional Republicans.
In another caution for the president, a slim majority of Americans — 53 percent — say they are either “very” or “somewhat” concerned that Biden will do too much to increase the size and role of government. Overall, Americans are almost evenly split on whether they favor a smaller government with fewer services (48 percent) or a larger government with more services (45 percent).
That finding does, however, represent a shift in public opinion that existed between 1992 and 2012, when at least half favored smaller government.
The 2020 presidential election and its acrid aftermath, during which Trump falsely insisted that the election had been stolen and that it was marred by widespread voting irregularities, left the country deeply divided. The new poll provides ample evidence that those divisions have not lessened during the early months of Biden’s presidency.
For example, 78 percent of Republicans say they strongly disapprove of the way Biden has handled his job, which is slightly higher than the 72 percent of Democrats who strongly disapproved of Trump at the same point in 2017, and also far higher than the 43 percent of Republicans who strongly disapproved of President Barack Obama’s performance in April 2009. At no point during Obama’s first three years in office did strong disapproval among Republicans reach its current level.
The poll also shows a record divide between the parties in views of Biden ahead of the 100-day mark, with 90 percent of Democrats approving of his performance compared with 13 percent of Republicans. Biden’s approval among fellow Democrats is six points higher than Trump’s rating was among Republicans four years ago, while the two presidents’ ratings among those in the rival party are identical (13 percent). Among independents, Biden’s approval rating of 47 percent is nine points better than Trump’s 38 percent four years ago.
Although there are signs that the economy is improving, a majority of Americans — 58 percent — rate the economy negatively, while 42 percent rate it positively. That’s statistically unchanged from the findings of a Post-ABC poll in late September.
But in another sign that opinions about the country’s condition are substantially shaped by party allegiance, the views of Democrats and Republicans have flipped with the change in administrations. Today, 49 percent of Democrats rate the economy positively, up from 18 percent in September. Meanwhile, 35 percent of Republicans give the economy positive marks today, compared with 69 percent who said that seven months ago.
The president’s first major initiative was a nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, approved by Congress on party-line…