Marist Poll Results & Analysis: Biden & Trump, February 2021

Biden Job Approval Rating at 49%… Half of Americans Think Trump Should be Convicted

Nearly half of Americans (49%) approve of President Joe Biden’s job performance. A majority of Americans (55%) perceive Biden to be doing more to unite the country than to divide it, and a plurality (47%) consider Biden to be changing the nation for the better. These findings are in stark contrast with the impressions of Donald Trump shortly after he took office in 2017.

Biden Approval Rating
Do you approve or disapprove of the job Joe Biden is doing as president?
Source: Marist Poll National Adults. Interviews conducted Jan. 24th – Jan. 27th, 2021, n=1313 MOE +/- 3.3%
  • 49% of Americans approve of Biden’s job performance. 35% disapprove. 16% are unsure. 25% of residents strongly approve, and 24% strongly disapprove. Trump’s first approval rating in February 2017 was 39%.

  • 91% of Democrats approve of Biden’s performance in office. 78% of Republicans disapprove. 46% of independents approve, 32% disapprove, and 22% are unsure.

  • 55% of Americans — including 91% of Democrats, 54% of independents, and even 17% of Republicans — perceive Biden to be doing more to unite the country than divide it (35%). In 2017, 36% reported that Donald Trump was uniting the nation, and 57% said he was dividing it.

  • 47% of Americans say Biden is changing the direction of the nation for the better while 32% say he is making it worse. At the beginning of Trump’s presidency, 38% reported he was a positive force for the nation, and 43% thought he was a negative one.

As the U.S. Senate considers an impeachment trial, 50% of Americans think the Senate should convict Trump on the charge of inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 41% think Trump should be acquitted. Opinions fall along partisan lines.

“In his first weeks in office, President Biden has achieved a higher approval rating than former President Trump did at any point in his four years,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist Poll. “Yet, Biden still hopes to convince Americans who are on the fence, especially independents, and close the huge partisan divide. That is a more daunting challenge.”

A majority of Americans (55%) say they have not intentionally avoided talking with friends and family who have different political views than they do. 44% have done so. 54% of Democrats have taken such action while 59% of Republicans and 55% of independents have not. According to a Fox News Poll in 2018 which asked a similar question, Americans, at that time, divided (48% to 48%).