President Biden's Approval Steady, With High Marks For The Economy And The Pandemic, But Low Marks For China and Russia

President Biden's Approval Steady, With High Marks For The Economy And The Pandemic, But Low Marks For China and Russia

This article presents President Biden's job approval ratings based on our most recent TIPP Poll conducted last week. We also show how Americans rate President Biden's handling of the economy, the Pandemic, China, and Russia.

Raghavan Mayur
Raghavan Mayur

President Biden received high marks in the most recent TIPP Poll taken last week during his honeymoon period, with an approval rating that is roughly between President Obama and President Bush at this point.

Presidential Job Approval

Job approval is the share of Americans who respond favorably to the question, "In general, do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as President, or are you not familiar enough to say one way or the other?"

President Biden's job approval numbers for April:

  • 53% of adults approve of how President Biden is handling his job vs. 53% in March
  • 59% of registered voters approve vs. 57% in March

Job approval has been around since the days of George Gallup, and every pollster uses it.  On the other hand, TIPP went above and beyond to innovate and create our own metric two decades ago.

Welcome to the Presidential Leadership Index!

Presidential Leadership Index

The Presidential Leadership Index, which we created, we believe presents a complete picture of a President's performance.

Favorability, job approval, and Presidential leadership are all factors considered in calculating the index.

The three components are equally weighted.  The index typically correlates well with the raw job approval.  It ranges from 0 to 100.  Above 50 is considered positive, while below 50 is considered negative.

This month, the Presidential Leadership Index is 60.2, down from 61.7 in March. The leadership index by party:

  • 88.2 for Democrats,
  • 23.2 for Republicans, and
  • 49.1 for Independents

The Honeymoon

President Biden is in the honeymoon period, and let us see how his honeymoon compares with three other Presidents. Few things to note from the chart below.

  • Recent Presidents typically start with higher approvals in their first terms than their second terms. The honeymoons are longer in their first term compared to the second term.
  • Among the four recent Presidents, President Biden at 63.1 started below President Bush (64.6) and above President Trump (49.2). President Obama had the highest starting number at 71.0.
  • In comparison to Trump (3.1), Bush (2.9), and Obama (2.3), President Biden has the slowest rate of decline, 0.97 points per month.
  • So, at this point, President Biden is between President Obama and President Bush.

We consider the honeymoon to be over when the index falls below 50.  President Trump did not have a honeymoon, according to this metric, thanks to the fourth estate.

Grading Biden Performance

Another TIPP innovation is to grade the President using the well-known letter grades from school. Let's see how Americans grade Biden's performance for his handling of different issues.

  • 52% give an A or B for his handling of the economy
  • 57% for his handling of the coronavirus situation
  • 36% for his handling of China
  • 37% for his handling of Russia
  • 51% for his overall performance so far

President Biden benefits from the passage of the stimulus bill and the distribution of the $1,400 checks.

President Biden is pushing for a significant expansion of infrastructure and social benefits, paid for with tax increases on corporations and investment gains.  He has proposed an additional $2.5 trillion in corporate tax payments over 15 years.  Later this month, Biden is likely to propose a significant increase in capital gains taxes to fund this program.

In a gauche unprovoked move, President Biden woke up the sleeping giant Russian President Vladimir Putin by calling him a "killer." The Kremlin retaliated by describing the remark as "unprecedented" and the two countries' relationship as "very bad."

Russia is mobilizing troops along its Ukrainian border, posing a test to the new President.  The move threatens to destabilize a cease-fire agreement between Ukraine and pro-Russian fighters.

So far, President Biden's China policy is to deescalate tensions between the two countries and mobilize Western allies to tame China's human rights violations.

China is testing the new President on multiple fronts.  A few days after the inauguration, China decided to fly more than a dozen military aircraft, including strategic bombers, into the Taiwan Strait and make its presence felt.

Overall Grade

A majority of Americans give good grades to President Biden:

  • 51% give him an A or B
  • 80% of Democrats give him a good grade
  • 64% of Republicans give him a D or F
  • 39% of Independents give President Biden a good grade
  • 49% of conservatives give him a D or F
  • 75% of liberals give him an A or B
  • 52% of moderates give him an A or B

President Biden has gotten off to a strong start.

Domestically, he faces challenges such as the influx of Central American immigrants at the southern border, returning to normalcy following the Pandemic, and an economy emerging from recession.

China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea will be the most significant international challenges for President Biden.  In the coming months, tippinsights will be tracking the issues very closely.


TIPP Takes

Vaccine Diplomacy

  • China offered Paraguay COVID vaccines in exchange for the country cutting ties with Taiwan. Paraguay rejected China's offer. Taiwan lobbied other countries to assist Paraguay. India has sent 100,000 doses.
  • China currently is supplying 69 nations with its Sinovac vaccine.
  • The United States has fallen far behind in the soft-power grab prompted by the Pandemic. The United States only recently agreed to share vaccines with Mexico and Canada.

Russian Military Build-up In Ukraine

  • 7-year conflict over the Donbas region of Ukraine is getting hotter. The U.S. would give $125 million of military aid to Kyiv in the 2021 fiscal year
  • Ukraine is currently undertaking military drills with at least five NATO countries this year in an operation called Cossack Mace.
  • Kremlin-controlled media steps up propaganda attacks on Kyiv.
  • Ukraine aims to join NATO officially.

Russian Militarization Of The Arctic

  • The Arctic holds 25% of the world's undiscovered oil and gas
  • It also has a large share of Russian strategic submarines
  • Facilities are being built on the arctic sea coastline. Russia, in recent times, has been expanding with the Military as its foreign policy

Turkey

  • Erdogan sentences dozens to life in prison due to 2016 coup attempt
  • Turkey is slowly pulling away from the European Union, especially with the purchase of Russian anti-air technologies.

Israel and Iran

  • Their navies continued to go tit-for-tat in a dangerous game that risks drawing the United States into another Middle Eastern war.

Tippinsights draws on various sources, but our public opinion research generates the majority of our content.  Please contact us if you like the content on tippinsights.com and have a research idea or want to collaborate! The TIPP Poll holds the coveted distinction of being the most accurate poll of the twenty-first century, correctly predicting the winner of the last five U.S. presidential elections.

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