Biden approval rating unchanged despite Americans’ views of document handling: poll

President Biden’s approval rating remains mostly unchanged despite a majority of Americans disapproving of the way he has handled the discovery of classified documents at his residence and former office, according to a new poll.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found that 41 percent of U.S. adults approve of Biden’s performance as president, 2 points lower than the 43 percent recorded in December.

That comes as almost 40 percent of respondents said they disapprove of how Biden has handled the classified document disclosures, while 23 percent said they approve and 36 percent said they neither approve nor disapprove.

Pollsters found significant splits in views of Biden along party lines. Almost 70 percent of Republicans said they disapprove of how Biden has managed the situation, while 44 percent of Democrats said the same.

Only 6 percent of Republicans and 15 percent of Democrats said they approve. But 40 percent of Democrats and 24 percent of Republicans said they have no opinion.

The results come after the FBI completed a search of Biden’s home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., on Wednesday but did not find any additional classified documents.

Biden has said he was surprised by the discovery of classified documents in his possession.

The FBI conducted a search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in August and obtained hundreds of classified and sensitive documents from his time as president. The situation took another turn when former Vice President Mike Pence’s team notified the National Archives last month that documents with classified markings were also found at his residence.

A plurality of respondents, 37 percent, said they have heard only a little or nothing about the situation, while 35 percent said they have heard some about it but not a lot. Only 28 percent said they have read or heard a lot about it.

The poll found in follow-up questions that some respondents said they make a distinction between the situation with Biden and Trump, who delayed requests from the National Archives to turn over his documents for months. But they said the country’s leaders should be able to properly handle these types of materials and information.

A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday also showed Biden’s approval rating holding steady despite concern among respondents about the national security threat the documents could pose.

The AP poll was conducted from Jan. 26 to 30 among 1,068 adults. The margin of error for the entire sample was 4.2 points.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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