Biden gets positive marks for handling pandemic, but vaccine resistance, Delta concern remains

Six months after President Biden’s administration began, Americans are less apprehensive about the year than they were when it began.

They believe the battle against the pandemic is going pretty well, although this is now tempered by concerns about the Delta variant. Most say their finances are fine, and most parents think the tax credit will help them. On a personal level, Biden is getting positive marks, especially for his handling of the pandemic and the way he is handling himself.

But problems are clearly looming. People are feeling the effects of inflation. And as vaccination rates stagnate, despite the administration push, the remaining unvaccinated seem more and more still in their decision – and even more politicized.


These ranks of the unvaccinated seem increasingly dominated by those who are suspicious of science, skeptical of the effectiveness and suspicious of the government urging them to obtain it. Half of those remaining hesitant about the vaccine are now those who say they “don’t trust the government”, when that sentiment was among the comparable group in June, and nearly half do not trust the government. to science or think it is still too little tested.


The differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans have long cut along educational and partisan lines – the unvaccinated disproportionately non-academics and also those who call themselves very conservative. We’re now also seeing some partisan pullback against the larger effort, as most Republicans believe the Biden administration is doing too much to urge Americans to get it.


Some wonder what a personal doctor-patient connection could do to build trust if the vaccine becomes available directly. But only 10% of hesitant and unvaccinated say their own doctor’s advice would make a difference.


There are also concerns that for some workers, especially low-income or hourly workers, the vaccination process or the time it takes may be less convenient than for those with more flexible hours. It seems to be the case: Those who did not get it and have lower incomes report a perceived disadvantage.


It comes as Americans show majorities concerned about the Delta variant in particular. The fully vaccinated are more affected than the unvaccinated. Since the outbreak began last year, there have always been Americans more concerned about the virus and the impact on public health, in general, than others – and the former group was also more likely to get vaccinated when the vaccine has become available.


Overall, however, compared to what it was in January, Americans see a better fight against the pandemic.


And Biden continues to get good marks for it.



Most Americans consider their personal financial situation to be at least good enough, an assessment that cuts across partisan lines (although middle and high incomes tend to be more positive than those in households earning less than $ 50,000. per year).


Positive assessments of the state of the national economy as a whole have increased overall over the past six months, from 34% in January to 45% today, mainly due to an increase among Democrats.

Opinions on the national economy are more partisan than personal finance, as they have been for most recent presidents: most Democrats say the economy is doing well, while most Republicans say she is doing badly (although two-thirds of Republicans say their own situation is good). In January, just before President Biden inherited both the White House and President Trump’s economy, partisan assessments of the economy were reversed.


Some of the Biden administration’s spending proposals are popular with a majority of Americans: most believe that the second stimulus bill passed last spring helped the U.S. economy, and most parents believe that the new child tax credit payments will help them financially.


Going forward, there is support for even more spending in the form of some of the most important proposals advocated by President Biden and Democrats in Congress. Most generally approve of the administration’s infrastructure proposal, and there is even more approval specifically to spend additional federal funds to build or repair American roads and bridges, install broadband internet in areas rural areas and pay for child care and elder care.


But with spending comes the specter of inflation, and most Americans report feeling its effects on the price of basic goods and services. A large majority of Americans say they pay more these days for gasoline, groceries and food, as well as electricity and electricity. Those at all income levels say they have noticed an increase in the prices of these items.


How Biden is rated on the issues

Six months into his presidency, President Biden is mostly receiving positive ratings for his approval of various issues, and six in ten like the way he manages himself personally. His supporters see things as stable, if not very exciting. A majority of 55% of Democrats describe US politics over the past six months as “stable” with fewer words like “inspiring” (39%) or “exciting” (21%). Most Republicans describe the past six months as “worrying” (67%) or “frustrating” (61%).

Six months ago, a greater percentage of Americans described their outlook for next year as scared, and it’s down now. The number of hopes is about the same.


Mr Biden’s overall approval rating remains at 58%, roughly stable in recent months but not as high as it was at the very start of his tenure. Roughly equal numbers – three in ten – strongly approve as strongly disapprove of his job performance.


On specific issues, he receives his best marks on dealing with climate change, followed by race relations and economics – each approved by a slim majority. Among the various questions tested, it receives its lowest marks on immigration management. And he’s just slightly negative about crime management.


In foreign policy, six in ten people approve of the way Mr. Biden has handled the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. In April, 77% approved the US withdrawal without Mr Biden’s name, but his handling of it is less approved, especially among Republicans and Conservatives. His handling of the issues with Russia, the situation in Cuba, and the issues with China are each greeted with the approval of about half the country.


This CBS News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,238 US adult residents surveyed between July 14 and July 17, 2021. This sample was weighted by gender, age, race and education based on the US Census American Community Survey, and the US Census Current Population Survey, as well as the 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ± 2.4 points.

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