Key Takeaways from April 2021 NBC Survey

For the past four years, the nation has had a “glass less than half full” attitude, with the past year being even more difficult.  Today though, there are signs of improved standing. Yes, the direction of the country remains off on the wrong track, but the 15-point increase in the proportion saying “right direction” matches the 15-point increase we saw when Barack Obama took office in 2009.  Spikes like this have happened only a handful of times in the poll’s history, but the 36% to 56% right direction/wrong track is remarkably similar to the March 2020 data (37%-56%), before COVID’s full impact on the country was felt.

What we don’t know is whether this is part of the the Biden-Harris administration’s 100-day honeymoon or something more durable and lasting.  What we do know is that Joe Biden’s presidency is meeting the times. So far, President Biden has been a performance and substance president, not a personality and style president.

 Some other key insights:

  • 53% approve of the job that Joe Biden is doing as president, including 90% of Democrats and 61% of independents – the last time a president had a job rating over 50% was Barack Obama in January 2017 (56%).
  • 50% rate Joe Biden in positive terms personally (36% negative), including 87% of Democrats and 56% of independents – the last time a president reached this mark was again, Barack Obama in January 2017 (54% positive, 34% negative).
  • 51% believe that Joe Biden has accomplished a great deal or fair amount in his first 100 days (81% of Democrats and 53% of independents).
  • And underscoring the signs of spring in America, 56% of Americans say that President Biden’s leadership and plans for the country make them feel more hopeful.

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