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Nearing 100 Days, Biden Earns High Marks on Job Handling

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 By Bryan Bennett
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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.

Key takeaways from the survey

  • As Biden nears his 100th day in office, he gets high marks for his handling of his job as president, as well as for his handling of the pandemic and the economy.
  • Americans see Biden as prioritizing the pandemic and the economy in his first 100 days, followed by infrastructure and climate change as important tertiary focuses.
  • Majorities feel Biden’s policies put working and middle class people first and trust him to tell the American people the truth.

Throughout First 100 Days, Majorities Approved of Biden’s Handling of the Presidency, the Pandemic, and the Economy

Since mid-February, Biden has maintained positive approval ratings across issues, including net +9 on overall job approval, net +27 approval on the pandemic, and net +6 approval on the economy.

Positive News About Biden This Week Driven By Vaccines, Followed By Economy, Stimulus, Climate

Majorities of Democrats (91% positive or mix) and independents (64%) report hearing positive things or a mix of positive and negative things, as do 43% of Republicans.

Coronavirus and Economy Still Seen as Biden’s Top Priorities; Infrastructure Now Breaking Through as Tertiary

When asked to describe Biden’s goals after his inauguration, respondents offered coronavirus first, the economy second, and a diffuse range of issues third. When asked after Biden’s first 100 days, the top two priorities remain the same, while climate change is consistent as a tertiary concern, with the addition of infrastructure.

Support for the “American Rescue Plan” Remains Broad

Nearly two in five Republicans (38%) continue to support the “American Rescue Plan.”

Most Americans Recognize the Positive Impact of the “American Rescue Plan” on Them Personally

Support for the Rescue Plan remains strongest among Black Americans (74%).

Public Continues to See Biden as Putting Working Class First

A majority of independents say Biden “puts working and middle class people first,” and even two in five Republicans say the same.

A Majority of Americans Trust Biden to Tell the Truth

Almost three in five trust Biden to tell the truth, including more than two in five independents and almost one in five Republicans.

Over 100 Days, People Continue to Describe Biden as “Hopeful” and “Competent”

Almost two in five Americans continue to describe Biden’s first months in office as “hopeful,” including nearly one in five Republicans. Nearly a third also call him “competent” in his approach.

Key takeaways from the focus groups

  • The change in administration drives Democrats to feel “relieved” and Republicans “uncertain.”
  • Most see Biden as “quieter” than Trump, but Democrats are much clearer that this is a good thing.
  • Vaccines and stimulus checks dominate current assessments of Biden’s record so far, while partisans mostly divided.
  • There is generally more awareness among Democrats of early Biden accomplishments—particularly on climate and economic relief.
  • Further discussion reveals some knowledge gaps, particularly with Republicans.
  • Democrats are not in disarray, but pragmatic, even if some wish for Biden to move leftward.

Mostly Driven By A Change In President, Democrats Feel “Relief” While Republicans Feel “Anxious”

Both Progressive And Moderate Democrats Feel Positive About Biden’s Progress; Republicans Expectedly More Mixed

People See Biden As “Quieter” Than Trump, Which Strikes Partisans Differently

Many Cite Vaccines And The Stimulus As Biden’s Top Accomplishments

Beyond Vaccines And Stimulus Checks, Some Recall Biden’s Actions On Climate Or Other Relief

Discussion Of Accomplishments Reveals Some Knowledge Gaps, Particularly With Republicans

Democrats Are Not In Disarray—They Are Pragmatic, Even If Some Wish He Would Go Further Left


About The Study

This release features findings from a national online survey of 989 registered voters conducted April 22-26, 2021. Additional interviews were conducted among 101 Hispanic voters, 96 African American voters, 98 independents without a partisan lean, and 104 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.

This release also features findings from online focus groups conducted on April 23, 2021 with voters in three states: Florida (Democrats who think the party should move in a more moderate direction or stay in the same direction), Texas (Republicans with a household income of <$75K and are neither very unfavorable toward Biden nor very favorable toward Trump), and Nevada (Democrats who think the party should move in a more progressive direction). Qualitative results are not statistically projectable.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org