Biden at 100 days is far more popular than Trump was at the same point in his presidency

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  • 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.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

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.

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President Joe Biden

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.

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Democratic presidents keep having to save the US economy after Republican presidents run it into the ground

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President Joe Biden greets former President Barack Obama for the inauguration of Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.

  • Since the 1990s, GOP presidents keep running the US economy into recessions.
  • And then Democratic presidents come in and save the economy.
  • Democrats should remind voters of this every chance they get.
  • Michael Gordon is a longtime Democratic strategist, a former spokesman for the Justice Department, and the principal for the strategic-communications firm Group Gordon.
  •  
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Repeat after me: The last three Republican presidencies ended in economic turmoil. And their Democratic successors had to clean up the mess. Voters need to be reminded – again and again – that putting Republicans in the White House puts our country in recession.

Republican recessions

It seems quaint compared to 2008 or our current crisis, but President George H. W. Bush ended his one term in office in recession. After what was then the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in US history, in July 1990 the country entered a recession that saw unemployment rise to a peak of 7.8% in June 1992.

His challenger Bill Clinton made the economic pain that families were feeling the mantra of his campaign and handily beat Bush, who came across as out of touch with working Americans.

One of Clinton’s first legislative achievements was an economic recovery bill that, among other things, put a greater tax burden on the wealthy and increased tax credits and wage subsidies for the working poor. As a result, during his eight years in office, Clinton oversaw economic growth that averaged 3.5% annual GDP growth but topped 4% throughout his second term. Unemployment fell from 7.4% to 3.9%, and the labor market added an average of 2.9 million jobs per year.

Cut to President George W. Bush and his policies that cut taxes for the rich, grew our national debt and trade deficit to record levels, left the US dollar severely weakened, decreased regulation of Wall Street, and ultimately helped bring about the Great Recession. 

The Great Recession was man-made, caused by reckless lending by financial institutions – not the result of the natural cycles of our economy. The devastation was – and continues to be – enormous, with America more unequal, less productive, and poorer because of the severity of the crisis.

President Barack Obama came to office needing to help bail out entire industries that our country runs on. The depth of the decline was the worst in 80 years, and the recovery Obama initiated was slow – but effective. 

After taking over in early 2017, former-President Donald Trump maintained the Obama recovery in some ways – but in other ways economic disparity grew deeper. Then, he treated the pandemic more like a political issue than a health issue, and the economy went into freefall on every metric. Millions of jobs were lost – some for good. Unemployment still sits at 6.7% despite some improvement in recent months, with communities of color hit hardest.

Now, as part of the promise of President Joe Biden, we will get through the pandemic and renew our economic strength in turn: another Democrat fixing a Republican mess.

Carter boomerang

Older voters will recall that President Jimmy Carter became the favorite Republican punching bag after his four years in office ended in economic calamity. So many negatives for the economy became associated with Carter – malaise, stagflation, the misery index – that Republicans held onto the White House for 12 years straight, the longest continuous streak in nearly 70 years. The fear of going back to the Carter years kept voters on edge and Republicans in power. 

But it’s been almost 50 years since Carter took office, and despite their superior record Democrats have failed to capitalize sufficiently on the economic strength they repeatedly ushered in and make it synonymous with their brand.

Much like the GOP did with Carter, Democrats need to make the Bushes and particularly Trump their punching bag for the next generation. The Democrats need to make it clear that they are the stewards of steady, strong economic growth and are always cleaning up after the GOP.

In most election years, voters think first about the economy and their own pocketbooks. That is the primary driver of most elections at most levels. Every Democrat needs to make the contrast in economic success their mantra – for the sake of the party and the country.

Repeat after me: The last three Republican presidencies ended in economic turmoil.

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