Politics Nearly two-thirds of Americans 'OPTIMISTIC about the next 12 months'
Americans agree: Court packing is dangerous
If Biden and Congress move ahead with expanding the Supreme Court, most Americans will not be on their side.So said Joe Biden in 1983. He was denouncing Franklin D. Roosevelt's "court packing" plan, which would have empowered the president to appoint up to six new justices to the nation's highest court. But fast forward to 2021, and President Biden is singing a different tune.
Nearly two out of every three Americans say they are optimistic about the direction the country is headed over the next year, according to a new survey taken after Presidentfinished his first 100 days in office.
The poll byfound that public opinion was sharply divided along party lines with Democrats more likely to be optimistic while reported being pessimistic about the nation’s short-term future.
In the survey taken between April 30 and May 1, 64 per cent said they were optimistic about the direction of the country over the next 12 months.
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Last Thursday and Friday, as we celebrated the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, President Joe Biden made some incredible advances in the fight against climate change.He started by bringing together leaders of 40 countries around the world to discuss next steps on upping our collective climate strategies to meet our Paris Agreement goals. He then announced some very big goals for the United States - a 50 percent reduction of carbon emissions below 2005 levels by 2030. This of course builds on the $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan he's laid out that calls for 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 and 80 percent emissions reductions by 2050.
Just over one-third - or 36 per cent - described themselves as pessimistic.
The survey of 513 adults also found that a majority of Americans - 52 per cent - believe that at the moment it is more important to have ‘the federal government spend money to help the economy, even if it increases taxes.’
Slightly less than half of those surveyed - 47 per cent - believe that tax rates should stay the same, ‘even if it means not spending money to help the economy.'
Opinion on taxes also depends on party affiliation. Nearly four in five Republicans - 78 per cent - want to keep taxes at the same rate while 80 per cent of Democrats think it’s more important for the government to spend money.
Text of Biden's first address to joint session of Congress
Text of President Joe Biden's first address to a join session of Congress, as provided by the White House: Madame Speaker. Madame Vice President. No president has ever said those words from this podium, and it’s about time. Madame Speaker. Madame Vice President. No president has ever said those words from this podium, and it’s about time.
Among whites, there is a virtual even split, while a majority of Americans who identify as non-white say federal spending is needed to help the economy.
In March, Biden signed into law a COVID-19 relief package totaling $1.9trillion. It included stimulus checks, unemployment assistance, aid to local governments and states, nutrition assistance, and tax credits.
Biden and the Democrats are now proposing a massive infrastructure spending bill that could cost upwards of $2.3trillion.
Thepoll also shows that Biden is perceived among a majority of Americans as willing to compromise with Republicans while the GOP is viewed as not doing enough to meet the president halfway.
According to the poll, 51 per cent of Americans said Biden is doing ‘the right amount’ to compromise with the opposition party. Nearly two in five - 39 per cent - say the president is doing too little to reach across the aisle.
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When asked about Republican willingness to compromise with the president, 22 per cent say the GOP is doing ‘the right amount’ while two-thirds - or 67 per cent - say the party is doing ‘too little.’
Last week, polling by Reuters/Ipsos found that more than half of Americans approve of Biden, a level of support that his Republican predecessor Donald Trump never achieved and one that should help Democrats push for infrastructure spending and other big-ticket items on Biden’s agenda.
The national opinion poll of 4,423 adults from April 12-16 found that 55 per cent approved of Biden’s performance in office, while 40 per cent disapproved and the rest were not sure.
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Biden received the highest marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with 65 per cent supporting his response.
In January, 38 per cent approved of Trump’s handling of the health crisis.
Ninety-percent of Democrats, 61 per cent of independents and 39 per cent of Republicans said they approved of Biden’s response, the poll showed.
Fifty-two percent of Americans also said they liked Biden’s handling of the economy and 53 per cent said the same about his impact on US jobs, which in both cases were a few percentage points higher than Trump’s marks on jobs and the economy during his final month in office.
Video: Rep. Nancy Mace: President Biden's proposing 'the most radical spending agenda in a generation' (FOX News)
But Biden received his strongest criticism on immigration, as his administration continues to grapple with a surge of migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border: 42 per cent approved of the president’s border policy, while 49 per cent disapproved.
More than half gave Biden strong marks for bipartisanship, though Democrats were much more likely than others to credit Biden for unifying the deeply divided electorate.
Fifty-six percent approved of Biden’s efforts, including 88 per cent of Democrats, 23 per cent of Republicans and 48 per cent of independents.
Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on May 2, 2021
On this "Face the Nation" broadcast, White House Chief of Staff and Senator Tim Scott sat down with John DickersonClick here to browse full transcripts of "Face the Nation.
Americans were also generally supportive of Biden’s stance on the environment and racial inequality, with 54 per cent and 51 per cent approving of his record so far, respectively.
Biden is benefiting somewhat from circumstances that are beyond his control.
He had months to prepare his pandemic response before becoming president, and some coronavirus vaccines were already in use before his January 20 inauguration.
Biden’s economy also has the advantage of being compared against the 2020 pandemic recession, when employers shed millions of jobs as COVID-19 shuttered businesses and schools.
Still, Biden’s approval numbers reflect popular support for his ambitious agenda, including a $1.9trillion economic stimulus package and should help him pursue other initiatives, said Julian Zelizer, a political historian at Princeton University.
Biden is now pushing for a $2trillion infrastructure plan that many Republicans oppose, and he is expected to propose tax hikes on the wealthy to raise money for childcare and other programs for American workers.
His popularity will help Biden keep his party together, Zelizer said, blunting malcontents on both the progressive and moderate wings of the party, and possibly tempering opposition from some Republicans, especially those in politically competitive states.
Lyna Sandau, a 75-year-old Republican from New York City, said she admires how Biden has aggressively supplied the United States with vaccines.
Sandau voted for Trump last year, but if the election were held again, she would probably back Biden.
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'What can I say, he seems to be trying,' she said.
Republicans largely oppose Biden, with only about 20 per cent supporting the president, but those numbers have not changed much over the past year.
Biden so far has been able to counter that with near-unanimous approval among Democrats and strong support among independents.
About 90 per cent of Democrats approve of Biden, while 8 per cent disapprove. Among independents, 51 per cent approve and 39 per cent disapprove.
Most presidents enjoy at least a brief period of elevated popularity, and Trump's favorability numbers also rose when he entered office four years ago.
But they declined a few weeks later as he pushed to ban travel from Muslim countries.
Biden's popularity, meanwhile, has grown over the past year among a broad cross-section of the American population, not only among the white college graduates who helped put him in the White House, but also among the traditionally conservative non-college whites who still dominate the electorate in many places.
According to the April poll, 61 per cent of white college graduates and 46 per cent of whites who did not get a degree said they have a favorable view of the president, which is up 7 points and 6 points, respectively, from a year ago.
Biden also has become more popular over the past year among racial minorities, with 68 per cent of Hispanics expressing a favorable view of Biden, up 12 points from last April.
The latest poll also shows more Americans – 40 per cent - think the country is headed in the right direction than at any other time in the last decade.
That is about as good as a Democrat should expect in such a hyper-partisan political environment, said Robert Shrum, a Democratic strategist and political scientist at the University of Southern California.
Republicans will likely continue to oppose Biden en masse, Shrum said.
But Democrats could counter by pushing for policy initiatives that are popular among conservatives too, such as rebuilding roads and expanding internet access.
'It is very useful to have Republicans who may not give you a high job rating out in the country agree with some of or many of the steps that you want to take,' Shrum said.
NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for May 7, 2021 .
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