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President Joe Biden earned one of the lowest approval ratings among presidents in the modern era during his first 100 days in office, according to a new poll.
What are the details?
The ABC News/Washington Post poll, conducted April 18 to April 21, found that Biden’s approval rating stands at a paltry 52%, far below expectations that Democrats had for the new president they predicted would be a mostly unifying figure.
In fact, Biden’s approval rating is “lower than any president at 100 days in office since 1945,” according to ABC News. Only Gerald Ford, who was publicly damaged by his decision to pardon Richard Nixon, and Donald Trump had lower approval ratings for their first 100 days in the White House. Still, Biden’s 52% is 10 points higher than Trump’s 42%.
Overall, the average approval rating for the 14 presidents from Harry Truman to Biden for their first 100 days in office is 66%, meaning Biden is 14% below the average.
The survey found that a majority of Americans — 64% and 65%, respectively — approve of Biden’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and supported his pandemic-related economic relief package. A majority, 58%, also support Biden’s proposal to raise corporate taxes.
However, Americans are split on Biden’s handling of the economy — just 52% approve — and his multi-trillion dollar infrastructure package, which also earned just 52% approval.
Biden is mostly hampered by his refusal to directly address the border crisis; just 37% of respondents said they approve of Biden’s handling of immigration and the intensifying migrant crisis at the southern U.S. border.
According to ABC News, respondents also dislike Biden’s trend toward enlarging the government, and a significant portion said they view him as “too liberal.”
More broadly, 53 percent express concern that Biden will do too much to increase the size and role of government in U.S. society. Relatedly, 40 percent see him as “too liberal,” more than said so about either of his most recent Democratic predecessors at 100 days – Barack Obama, 33 percent, and Bill Clinton, 26 percent. (This rose for Obama later in his presidency.)
What does this mean for Biden?
Although ABC News attributed the lower-than-expected approval marks to partisanship, the poll actually revealed that just 42% of Americans rate the economy positively under Biden, while 58% rate it negatively.
The data show that Biden did not experience a boost in that very important metric, which could spell disaster for his hopes of re-election if he is not able to reverse that perception.
“Biden’s rating for handling the economy is essentially the same as Trump’s in January, marking this as a clear challenge,” ABC News reported. “Presidential fortunes often are closely linked to economic conditions.”