- The Washington Times - Friday, July 2, 2021

President Biden’s approval rating is holding steady around 50% and more than two-thirds of Americans fear that democracy is “under threat,” according to a new poll.

Heading into the long Independence Day weekend, Mr. Biden’s rating of 50% approval and 43% disapproval was consistent with his 51% approval in mid-June, the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll found.

But his rating breaks down starkly along partisan lines, with about nine in 10 Democrats approving of his performance compared to 11% of Republicans. Pollsters found a similar divide in opinions about former President Trump during his presidency.

Mr. Biden’s report card on policy is all over the map. The coronavirus pandemic is a strong point for him, with 64% approving of his response, while he scored an even 50% on his handling of the economy.

The poll found 46% approve of his foreign policy — Mr. Biden took a big diplomatic trip to Europe in June — while 44% disapprove, though he’s handed a failing grade on immigration.

Nearly half of Americans — 49% — disapprove of his handling of illegal immigration, while 38% approve and 13% aren’t sure, as the administration struggles with a surge of migrants at the southern border. 

Slightly more than half of independents think Mr. Biden is falling short on immigration and one in five Democrats feel that way, too.

The poll found 47% of people think the nation is heading in the right direction versus 49% who say it’s heading for something worse.

That’s far better, however, than readings taken after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, when 20% of Americans thought the nation was on track and 75% said it was off the rails.

The pollsters said 67% of all respondents, including majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents, think democracy is under threat while only three in 10 say it is alive and well in America.

“Eighty-seven percent of Trump backers and 60% of Biden voters agree that our democracy is under threat,” said Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist Poll. “But, they view the reasons for such risk through a very different lens. For Democrats, January 6 undoubtedly looms large while, for Republicans, it’s more likely about Trump and his claims of a rigged election.”

The survey of 1,115 adults was conducted from June 22 through June 29, 2021. The pollsters contacted adults 18 years of age and older residing in the U.S. by landline or mobile numbers and interviewed by telephone using live interviewers. The polling results had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points, according to Marist.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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