A fast-paced vaccine rollout and the $1.9tn coronavirus relief package have helped to give Joe Biden a strong approval rating as he nears his 100th day in office, research published on Thursday has found.
The new president had the backing of 59% of respondents in a wide-ranging Pew Research Center study that compared his performance with that of other recent incumbents in their early days in the White House.
Donald Trump received a job approval rating of only 39% in the first April of his only term of office, while twice-elected president Barack Obama won 61% in that month of his first term, and his immediate predecessor George W Bush was at 55%.
Ronald Reagan had an even higher approval rating at the same stage, 67% according to the Pew figures.
With the crisis at the US southern border emerging as an early test of Biden’s resolve, illegal immigration has surpassed coronavirus as an issue that Americans see as “a very big problem”, the study found.
In a Pew study in June 2020, 58% said the coronavirus pandemic topped the list of concerns, a figure that has dropped to 47% in the latest polling as more adults get vaccinated and states begin to reopen.
Now, affordability of healthcare (56%), the federal budget deficit (49%) and illegal immigration (which has risen from 28 to 48%) all concern Americans more than the Covid-19 pandemic, the study found.
Pew interviewed 5,109 US adults in April 2021 for its research, all members of its American Trends Panel (ATP) recruited to be representative of the general population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories.
A clear majority – 72% of respondents – rated the Biden administration’s rollout of vaccines as good (43%) or excellent (29%), and 67% approved of the coronavirus aid package, 36% of them “strongly”. The survey was conducted before this week’s suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine rollout.
“It’s interesting that the 72% includes a majority of Republicans and Republican leaners at 55%,” said Jocelyn Kiley, Pew’s associate director of research.
The decline of Covid-19 as a prominent issue, Kiley added, could help explain why…
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