President Biden in his first two months in office is finding himself underwater as he is confronted by a set of concurrent challenges, receiving low marks from the majority of Americans over his handling of the surge of migrants at the border and gun control after two mass shootings within a week, a new national poll released Monday finds.
In a new ABC News/Ipos poll, 57 percent of Americans disapprove of how Biden’s handling the situation of the influx of migrants and unaccompanied children at the U.S.- Mexico border. The poll also found most Americans, 54 percent, see the situation at the border as a crisis, while 42 percent characterize the situation as a serious problem, but not a crisis. Only four percent of Americans surveyed say it is not a serious problem.
The poll also shows that Americans continue to remain highly polarized, with the issue of the border crisis being one most polarizing among those included in the poll that found a deep divide along partisan lines. In this poll, there is a forty-point or more approval gap between Democrats and Republicans on each of the issues surveyed.
Over 89 percent of Republicans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the situation at the border, while 54 percent of independents disapprove. With Democrats, 33 percent said they disapprove of Biden’s handling of the border surge.
On gun control, Biden is also underwater — also receiving the same mark of 57 percent from Americans disapproving approach on this issue. Over two-thirds of those surveyed believe that the president should be prioritizing gun violence as a high priority than protecting the right to own a wide variety of guns. Only a third of Americans believe enacting new laws should be a high priority for the president.
Similarly, Biden’s handling of gun violence draws disapproval from 86 percent of Republicans surveyed, 56 percent of independents, and 37 percent of Democrats — the highest dissatisfaction mark out of the four issues among Americans polled who identify from within the president’s party.
Meanwhile, on other issues that Biden has viewed as top priorities including the president handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his handling of the COVID vaccine distribution, the poll shows high marks amongst both. When it comes to the president’s handling of the pandemic, 72 percent of Americans surveyed approving of Biden’s response while only 28 percent have said to disapprove.
On COVID vaccine, a significant slice of those surveyed also backs how Biden’s handling of vaccine distribution with 3 in 4 Americans approving. Biden earned bipartisan support on only this one issue with 92 percent of Democrats overwhelming approve, along with 77 percent from Independents and 53 percent of Republicans approving the president when it comes to his handling over the vaccine rollout.
Biden has signaled from his first press conference last week that he views the two challenges currently plaguing his new presidency as “long-term problems,” despite their urgency to address the crisis that he would focus on down the road.
“They’ve been around a long time. And what we’re going to be able to do, God willing, is now begin one at a time to focus on those as well,” Biden said last Thursday. “Successful presidents — better than me — have been successful, in large part, because they know how to time what they’re doing — order it, decide and prioritize what needs to be done.”
Despite his desire in calls for unity while proving otherwise, the new poll further illustrates that Biden is making no improvement based on his latest rhetoric and actions in Washington. According to Americans surveyed, only 30 percent believe Biden is making the country more united, compared to those who believe he’s further dividing it which is also at 30 percent. However, a plurality of 40 percent of Americans believe that Biden is doing neither when it comes to national unity.
The ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted March 26 to 27, 2021, among a random national sample of 517 American adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.