Poll of the week: A Quinnipiac University poll finds that President Joe Biden’s job approval rating stands at 52% to a disapproval rating of 38% among registered voters.
Biden’s average approval rating is 55% and his average disapproval rating is 39%, which makes for an average net approval rating of +16 points.
What’s the point: Nothing ever seemed to shake Donald Trump’s job approval rating. It moved less than any other president in the polling era.
So far, Biden’s proven to be even steadier than Trump. And very much unlike Trump, people seem to actually like what Biden is doing.
Biden’s net approval rating a month ago stood at +18 points in an average of polls. That means his net approval has shifted by only 2 points in his first month in office.
In Trump’s first month in office, his net approval rating fell considerably more. He actually started with a slightly positive net approval rating of +1 or +2 points, depending on how you averaged the polls. A month in, he was at about -7 points.
Even Barack Obama saw a 10- to 15-point dropoff in his net job approval rating a month into his presidency. Granted, Obama’s net approval rating was still at about +35 points by the latter part of February 2009.
Steadiness in the polls is nothing new for Biden. The size of his advantage over Trump in the national presidential polls during the 2020 campaign was the most consistent in polling history.
Some of that permanence was almost certainly because Trump was on the ballot. What doesn’t get mentioned anywhere near as much is that Biden’s own net favorability rating during the campaign was also pretty much unmovable. It traded between a 10-point range from 0 points to +10 points in live interview polls from June through the election.
There’s really no way of knowing how steady Biden’s approval rating will be over the next few months.
But you can see how the formula Biden used during the 2020 campaign could work for him in the White House.
So far, his approval rating is even more polarized along political lines than Trump’s was. According to Gallup, the gap between his first approval rating among Democrats and Republicans is larger than any president in the polling era.
Consistent with the 2020 campaign polling, Biden actually has the backing of independents. And like in 2020, Biden’s net approval among Democrats is considerably more positive than his net approval among Republicans is negative.
Perhaps most importantly, Biden’s not the news magnet that Trump was. He is boring by comparison, and it seems to work for him.
We know that Biden consistently ran behind Trump in media mentions during the campaign. He also was pretty much always searched less on Google than Trump.
So far during Biden’s presidency, he’s running at only about a third of the Google searches that Trump did during his month on the job in 2017.
And likely because of the Senate impeachment trial of his predecessor, Biden managed to be searched less on Google than Trump was during the first month of the Biden administration.
This brings up a big question for Biden over the next few months: How much of his presidency will be viewed as Biden as his own entity vs. as a counter to Trump? Normally, the campaign ends in November.
Trump, though, is a unique political character. Although he’s banned from Twitter, he’s now putting out statements and appearing on television.
Biden likely welcomes the contrast. If the last year is any indication, Biden’s popularity will likely benefit from being in a continuous campaign against or at least in comparison with the former president.