Six months into Biden’s term, Americans view US politics as worrying, frustrating, and steady

Linley SandersSenior Data Journalist
July 20, 2021, 7:06 PM UTC

President Joe Biden has experienced a steady approval rating during his first six months in the White House, even as many Americans express concern and frustration about his tenure in office. In a recent CBS News/YouGov poll, 58% of US adults approve of how he’s handling his job, while 42% do not.

During his time in the Oval Office, Biden has grappled with issues including climate change, immigration, and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two-thirds of Americans (67%) say Biden has done a very or somewhat good job handling the coronavirus outbreak, while one-third (33%) think he’s done a bad job. Nine in 10 Democrats (91%), two-thirds of Independents (69%), and more than one-third of Republicans (37%) think Biden has done a good job with the public health crisis.

Biden earns highest approval on his recent decision to remove US troops from Afghanistan (60%) — an action that 80% of Democrats, 62% of Independents, and 35% of Republicans approve of. 

Most US adults also approve of how the Democratic president is handling the issue of climate change (55%), race relations (53%), and the economy (53%). Biden's lowest marks are on the issue of immigration (47% approve, 53% disapprove).  

A majority of Democrats (55%) say US politics have been steady since Biden entered the White House. Around two in five Democrats describe the political scene as satisfying (42%) or even inspiring (39%). Just one in five (21%) call the last six months “exciting.” 

For Republicans, the last six months have been much more discouraging. Two-thirds of Republicans (67%) are worried by the political landscape under President Biden, while three in five (61%) are frustrated. There are 45% who describe the beginning of the year as unpredictable. Just one in twenty Republicans (5%) agree that the last six months have been steady. 

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

Methodology: This CBS News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,238 U.S. adult residents interviewed between July 14-17, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on  the U.S. Census American Community Survey, and the U.S. Census Current Population Survey, as well as 2020 Presidential vote. The margin of error is ± 2.4 points. 

Image: Getty