How much support is there for Joe Biden's initial policy proposals?

Linley SandersSenior Data Journalist
February 02, 2021, 2:30 PM UTC

When President Joe Biden was sworn into office, he promised a series of executive orders designed to address the COVID-19 pandemic, provide economic relief to millions of Americans, and re-enter international agreements and organizations abandoned by former President Donald Trump.

A Yahoo New/YouGov Poll shows that, among 20 proposals, the most popular items for the new president to focus on are passing COVID-19 stimulus checks for Americans (74%) and directing more federal funding toward COVID-19 vaccination efforts. While those policy efforts are especially popular among Democrats (88% favor $2000 relief checks and 89% favor COVID-19 vaccine funding), most Republicans (57% and 54% respectively) and Independents (74% and 65% respectively) support them, too. 

One of Biden’s other key COVID-19 proposals — a national mask mandate — does not earn a bipartisan endorsement. While 57% of Americans overall support it, just 28% of Republicans do. More than four in five Democrats (86%) want the mandate to happen, while about half (52%) of Independents do. So far, the president’s executive orders have stopped short of a national mask mandate and only apply while on federal government property and public transportation. 

Republicans oppose the reversal of President Trump’s immigration policies 

President Trump focused on many hardline immigration policies during his first term, which President Biden promised on the campaign trail to reverse early in his tenure. While that promise endears Biden to his own party, Republicans overwhelmingly oppose his decision to halt construction of the US-Mexico border wall (81%) and end the ban on entry to America from several Muslim-majority countries (68%). 

On other immigration-related policies, there is more division among Republicans. They are split on whether or not to stop family separation at the border (40% vs 36%), even as most Americans (64%) want the practice ended. Three in five adults (61%) support creating a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants brought to America illegally as children, but Republicans are slightly more likely to oppose (45%) than support it (40%).

Americans support investing in renewable energy 

Many of the Biden Administration’s green policy proposals are nationally favored. Two-thirds of Americans support investing in renewable energy infrastructure (67%) and most support cutting carbon emissions to zero in the next 30 years (54%). About half (48%) support President Biden recommitting to the Paris Climate Accord, which is an international agreement aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Democrats (88%) and Independents (69%) support building paths for renewable energy, and Republicans are 10 points more likely to support (43%) than oppose (33%) it. When it comes to the goal of cutting carbon emissions to zero by 2050, about half of Republicans (47%) disapprove, and about one-quarter (28%) are in favor.

Most Americans want the minimum wage raised  

President Biden has proposed raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour. Most Americans (58%) support the proposed increase, while three in 10 (31%) oppose it.  

Republicans are especially likely to oppose it (64%), while Democrats (84%) and Independents (57%) tend to favor it.   

Two-thirds of Americans with a family income of less than $50,000 annually (67%) support the wage change, compared to half of those making between $50,000 and $100,000 (51%). Most (56%) of those with a household income of more than $100,000 support the raise.

See the toplines and crosstabs from this Yahoo News/YouGov Poll

Methodology: The Yahoo! News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,516 U.S. adults interviewed online between January 20-21, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 and 2020 Presidential votes (or non-vote), registration status, geographic region, and urbanicity. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S adults. The margin of error for the entire sample is approximately 2.7%. 

Image: Getty