In a new NPR/ PBS NewsHour/ Marist survey, President Joe Biden’s job performance received the approval of 45 percent of overall respondents, while 46 percent of respondents indicated that they disapproved of Biden’s performance in office. Although Biden’s level of job approval among the general public thus stands in this particular survey at less than an overall majority, it’s still higher than the (weighted) average job approval with which Trump left office, as recorded by FiveThirtyEight. According to their tabulations, Trump’s average job approval sat at merely 38.6 percent when he exited D.C.
The new survey also found a high level of support among the general public for Democratic candidates for Congress. As reported by NPR:
‘On the question of which party’s candidate people would vote for if next year’s elections for Congress were held today, respondents chose Democrats by an 8-point margin, 46% to 38%. That is the kind of margin Democrats have traditionally needed to do well in congressional elections, given that Democratic voters are typically packed more tightly in districts and Republicans control redistricting in more places in the country.’
Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, noted to NPR that “Democrats’ advantage on the question doesn’t necessarily mean it will translate to congressional control,” as NPR summarized. In the survey, Democrats led on the question of support for Congress in regions including the Northeast and West, where many Democrats are already in power, while Republicans led in the Midwest and South, where notable, so-called swing districts can be found. Still, every seat counts — at present, Democrats lead in the House by less than a dozen seats, and in the Senate, the chamber is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with control in the hands of Democrats because of Vice President Kamala Harris’s role as a tiebreaker, which hands the party a 51st vote.
At present, Democrats are working on issues including raising the debt ceiling and passing two major pieces of legislation, including a bipartisan agreement providing funding for infrastructure and a pricier spending proposal that would provide financial support for so-called “human infrastructure,” meaning social support programs like child and elder care.