WASHINGTON — As President Joe Biden nears his 100th day in office, slightly more than half of Americans say they approve of his job performance. Biden gets his highest marks on handling the Covid-19 pandemic and his lowest on the situation at the southern border.
Those are the results of a new national NBC News poll, which also found a public that’s largely supportive of Biden’s top legislative priorities; more optimistic about defeating the pandemic; and more bullish about the country’s direction than it was back in January.
“What we don’t know is if this is part of a 100-day honeymoon or something more durable and lasting for the Biden-Harris administration,” said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies.
“What we do know is that Joe Biden's presidency is meeting the times,” Horwitt added.
That’s compared with 12 percent who say they will never take the vaccine, as well as another 7 percent who will take it only if it’s required.
There’s a striking divide by party here: Among Democrats, 74 percent say they’ve already been vaccinated, while just 4 percent say they won’t ever take it.
But among Republicans, 40 percent say they’ve been vaccinated, while 24 percent say they’ll never take it.
Divided rather than united
Thirty-six percent of Americans say the country is headed in the right direction — up from 21 percent who said this in January.
Yet 56 percent believe the nation is on the wrong track, which continues a streak (going back to George W. Bush’s second term as president) of at least a majority of Americans holding this view in the poll.
And despite Biden’s positive marks on uniting the country, 82 percent of respondents in the poll say the country is divided, while only 16 percent say it’s united.
Other poll findings
Asked to pick the one or two most important issues facing the country, Americans’ top responses were Covid-19 (30 percent), uniting the country (25 percent), race relations (23 percent), the economy (23 percent) and border security and immigration (22 percent).
The top responses among Democrats were Covid-19 (43 percent), race relations (35 percent), guns (25 percent) and unity (24 percent).
Among Republicans, the top responses were the border/immigration (47 percent), the economy (28 percent), taxes and spending (23 percent) and unity (17 percent).
Democrats hold a 5-point advantage in congressional preference, with 47 percent of registered voters preferring a Democratic-controlled Congress, and with 42 percent preferring Republicans in charge.
And former President Donald Trump’s favorable/unfavorable rating in the poll is 32 percent positive, 55 percent negative, while Biden’s score is 50 percent positive, 36 percent negative.
The NBC News poll was conducted April 17-20 among 1,000 adults — 60 percent of whom have only a cell phone — and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.