Americans want steady politics, but expect the next four years will be unpredictable

Linley SandersSenior Data Journalist
April 28, 2021, 4:00 PM UTC

President Joe Biden campaigned on a “return to normalcy” during his race to the White House — promising to address the COVID-19 pandemic, restore international alliances, and tweet less than his often-divisive predecessor.  

As Biden nears 100 days as Commander in Chief, a CBS News/YouGov poll shows that two in five Americans want the next four years of domestic politics to be what Biden promised: steady (44%) and normal (41%). But only about one-quarter of Americans believe the next four years of government will actually live up to this idea (22% and 25%, respectively, expect politics will be steady and normal).  

Rather, 46% of Americans expect that the future of US politics will be unpredictable, though this is something that only 15% of Americans desire.

About one-quarter of adults (22%) want American politics to be shaken up, and three in 10 (29%) believe it will happen. About one in five (17%) crave an exciting political scene, and one in eight Americans (12%) believe that will happen. Only 15% want politics to be boring in the immediate future, something that 11% think could happen.

Democrats (53%) are 19 percentage points more likely than Republicans (34%) to desire a steady political climate for the remainder of Biden’s first term. They are also 14 points more likely than Republicans to say they want the next four years to be exciting (22% vs 8%). Republicans (26%) are slightly more likely than Democrats (21%) to hope for a political shake-up. 

Democrats (45%) are only slightly more likely than Republicans (39%) to crave political normalcy for the foreseeable future. 

See the toplines and crosstabs from this CBS News/YouGov poll 

Related: Americans want to take action to shape climate change rather than adapt to what happens 

Methodology: This CBS News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,527 U.S. residents interviewed between April 21-24, 2021. 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 the 2020 presidential vote and registration status. The margin of error is ± 2.3 points. 

Image: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels