- Biden is receiving generally positive reviews from voters as he approaches the 100-day mark.
- Polls consistently show most Americans approve of the job Biden is doing.
- Trump’s approval rating at the same point in his presidency was far lower than Biden’s.
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President Joe Biden is set to hit 100 days since his inauguration on Friday, and poll after poll shows that most Americans approve of the job he’s doing as commander-in-chief.
Biden’s approval rating in multiple polls is also far higher than where President Donald Trump’s favorability stood at the same point in his tenure.
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll found 55% of Americans approved of Biden’s performance in office, while 40% disapproved. Comparatively, the same poll from the final week of Trump’s first 100 days found a majority of Americans disapproved of the job he was doing (53%), with his approval rating at just 41% at the time. Throughout his time in office, the numbers-obsessed Trump never saw an approval rating in Reuters polling as high as Biden’s current level of support.
Meanwhile, recent Gallup polling put Biden’s 100-day approval rating at 57%, which far surpasses Trump’s approval rating of 41% back in late April 2017.
His leadership style is markedly different from Trump’s, who spent much of his presidency airing grievances on Twitter while shifting from one self-induced crisis to the next. Biden has taken a decidedly less belligerent tone, hardly ever tweets, and his administration has so far not been embroiled in a seemingly never-ending stream of scandals. These factors could all be contributing to the large gap in approval between Biden and Trump.
Gallup polling shows Biden’s approval rating is lower than some of his other recent predecessors at 100 days: Barack Obama’s stood at 65% at this point, while George W. Bush’s 100-day score was 62%. But he’s not far off from Bill Clinton (55%) and George H.W. Bush (58%) at 100 days.
Since the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had his work cut out for him coming into office at the height of the Great Depression, the 100-day benchmark has been used to grade presidents on their early progress (or lack thereof).
Biden was inaugurated in the midst of a global pandemic and on the heels of a fatal insurrection at the US Capitol that sent shockwaves across the world. He inherited a mess.
Though Washington continues to be dominated by hyper-partisanship, there appears to be growing optimism in the US – especially as it continues to show signs of progress with the pandemic under Biden’s leadership. A recent NBC News poll found 36% of Americans feel the country is headed in the right direction, up from just 21% who said the same in January.
Biden has repeatedly received top marks in polling regarding his handling of the pandemic, which appears to have contributed to his positive favorability rating from American voters.
In the days since he was sworn-in, Biden signed a historic COVID-19 stimulus package and the pace of vaccination in the US has improved dramatically. He’s also introduced ambitious plans on infrastructure and immigration as he continues the fight against the virus.
Under Trump, who consistently downplayed the threat of COVID-19 before being hospitalized after contracting it last October, the US was the epicenter of the pandemic. Under Biden, the US has emerged as global model for the vaccination process.
But Biden is facing increasing pressure to share the US vaccine supply as the virus continues to wreak havoc and overwhelm hospitals in other countries. Earlier this week, Biden announced he’d be taking steps to send more supplies to India, the latest pandemic hotspot where people have literally been begging for oxygen. The US is also set to send surplus AstraZeneca vaccine supplies abroad once the vaccine has received federal approval.
Biden also continues to face criticism over his handling of a surge in arrivals of unaccompanied migrant children at the border, and polling has frequently showing his lowest approval scores are on this issue specifically.
Beyond domestic issues, Biden has taken big steps on foreign policy. Earlier this month, Biden announced that all remaining US troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11, marking an end to the longest war in US history. But he continues to face myriad challenging issues in the global arena, ranging from competition with China to achieving his goal of reviving the Iran nuclear deal.
The 100-day mark can serve a litmus test for presidential progress, but it’s also fairly arbitrary and doesn’t necessarily signify how presidents will fare overall – or how Americans will feel about them by the end of their time in office. When Bush left the White House in 2009, for example, Gallup polling showed his approval at 34% – substantially lower than where it stood at 100 days.
But based on the available evidence, Americans generally feel that Biden is off to a strong start as they begin to see a future not dominated by COVID-19.