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Hofstra poll: President Joe Biden has 52.6% favorable rating

President Joe Biden gives a thumbs up as

President Joe Biden gives a thumbs up as he speaks during a virtual call on March 4. Credit: Sipa USA / Oliver Contreras via AP

More than half of American voters approve of President Joe Biden’s job performance, and nearly two-thirds support the American Rescue Plan to help restore the economy, Biden's first legislative victory, according to Hofstra University's new Kalikow Center Poll.

The poll, which was obtained by Newsday, found 52.6% of Americans gave Biden a positive rating, evidence of a "slim majority" backing the 46th president as he marks his 100th day in office Thursday.

Voters approve of Biden's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and legislative agenda, according to the poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.74%.

YouGov, a firm specializing in online polling, administered the poll to 2,000 registered voters, ages 18 or older, from April 12 through 18.

The survey oversampled suburban voters.

Kalikow School Poll program director Craig Burnett, who prepared the poll, noted in an interview with Newsday that Biden's positive ratings were lower than former President Barack Obama's in his early days in office.

"This is sort of the new reality, that presidents are not going to get much of a honeymoon," Burnett said.

Meena Bose, executive dean of Public Policy and Public Service Programs and director of Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency, said in an interview: "Certainly there is momentum for action" behind Biden's legislative agenda.

Still, Bose said: "There are some big policy battles ahead."

The poll found Biden got the lowest marks of any issue for his handling of immigration at the southern border, where record numbers of people have been crossing into the United States.

Poll authors said the immigration issue could complicate Biden's presidency, as it did for his predecessors.

The authors also said Biden got "low marks" for his handling of race relations and crime, with 65.5% of respondents saying they believed race relations were "getting worse."

However, data suggests "that a strong majority of respondents think he is handling the pandemic well," and give him good marks for education and the economy.

Biden signed the American Rescue Plan in March after the bill narrowly passed both houses of Congress, without any Republican votes.

Biden's $1.9 trillion infrastructure bill is working its way through Congress.

On other issues, the poll found:

  • Some 30.8% of Americans said they do not plan to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. 46.6% of Republicans don't plan to become vaccinated, compared with 13.8% of Democrats.
  • Some 29.5% of voters — including 61.7% of Republicans — said they believed the incorrect assertion that ex-President Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election. Poll authors called those findings "an alarming outcome that suggests significant distrust in American electoral institutions."

  • Only 31.6% of Americans are "satisfied" with the direction of the country. The figure was 26.6% in September 2020, 26.5% in October 2020 and 43% in March 2020. The March 2020 poll was conducted before the pandemic had become a major national issue.

The poll also explored the popularity of New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat who has been accused of sexual harassment, misconduct and withholding accurate counts of New York nursing home resident deaths.

Cuomo's positive rating is 22%, compared with 44.4% in the September 2020 Kalikow poll.

In the September 2020 poll, 15.5% of voters had a "very favorable" opinion of Cuomo and 28.9% saw him as "mostly favorable." The poll found 11% who saw him as "mostly unfavorable," and 33% who saw him as "very unfavorable."

In the new poll 3.72% had a "very favorable" view of Cuomo, while 18.34% had a "mostly favorable" opinion of Cuomo.

The survey found 22.55% of voters had "mostly unfavorable" views of the governor, while 44.53% had a "very unfavorable" view of him.

The Kalikow School Poll poll results will be the subject of a virtual panel discussion Thursday April 29 at 1 p.m. Registration is required to attend:

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