Majorities Support Initial Biden Executive Actions

Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.

This release features findings from a national online survey of 1,005 registered voters conducted January 27-February 1, 2021. Additional interviews were conducted among 100 Hispanic voters, 100 African American voters, and 100 independents without a partisan lean.

Key takeaways

  • Most Americans are hearing some or mostly positive things about Biden, particularly his focus on the pandemic, vaccines, improving the economy, climate change, and health care.
  • The public views Biden as focused on combatting coronavirus as his top priority, with economic relief close behind.
  • Biden’s first executive orders enjoy high levels of support, and the public views his first days as “hopeful,” “competent,” and “prepared.”

Most Hearing Positives on Biden: Executive Orders, Pandemic, Vaccines, and Stimulus Talks All Breaking Through

More than nine in ten Democrats and nearly four in five independents report hearing positives on Biden, as do 44% of Republicans.

While Executive Orders Dominate Biden Conversation, Partisan Differences Exist

Democrats and independents report hearing about Biden’s pandemic efforts, vaccines, and rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, while Republicans are hearing more about the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Americans See Coronavirus As Biden’s Top Priority, Followed Closely By the Economy, Then Range of Issues

When asked to describe each of the three items they feel Biden is most focused on in the coming years as president, Americans far and away cite his focus on the pandemic, with his focus on the economy second, and then a range of issues including healthcare, climate change, and immigration as tertiary priorities.

Majorities Support Wide Range of Biden’s Executive Actions

Bipartisan support is highest for vaccines, a federal property mask mandate, and freezing student loan payments.

On His First Days, Biden Approvers Point to Pandemic Response; Disapprovers to Rolling Back Trump Policies

Most Americans approve of the job Biden is doing and say he is most focused on the public health impacts of the pandemic; among those who disapprove, he is seen as focused on rolling back Trump-era policies.

Biden Seen as “Hopeful,” “Competent,” and “Prepared” in First Days in Office

Nearly two in five Americans describe Biden’s first days in office as “hopeful,” while almost three in ten use “competent” and “prepared.”