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President Joe Biden has higher job approval ratings than Congress as he nears his first 100 days in office, according to two new national polls.
Areport released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University showed 48% of American adults approve of Biden's job performance. Most respondents to a Monmouth University poll, 54%, reported the same.Both polls showed around 40% disapprove of Biden's performance.
In February, Quinnipiac found 50% of adults approved of Biden's job performance compared to 51% for Monmouth. The percentage who disapprove remained virtually unchanged in both polls.
Quinnipiac poll respondents reported positively on the president's handling of the economy, climate change, taxes and the coronavirus pandemic. Biden was rated lower on gun policy and the migrant crisis at the U.S. southern border.
Approval ratings for Congress are lower in comparison. Most adults (56%) told Monmouth pollsters they disapproved of Congress' job performance, compared to 35% who approved.
Job performances for congressional Republicans in Congress were viewed favorably by 27% of adults while 63% disapproved in the Quinnipiac poll. The margin for Democrats was closer, but more – 49% – still disapproved of their job performances than approved, 43%.
Both polls were conducted between April 8-12. Sample sizes for Quinnipiac and Monmouth were 1,237 and 800 U.S. adults, respectively. The margin of error for the Quinnipiac poll was 2.8 percentage points. Monmouth reported a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
Nearly half of respondents said they feel the country is "headed in the right direction" — an eight-year high in Monmouth's national polling.
Biden's pandemic response rated positively
The president's response to the coronavirus pandemic ranks highest in both polls. Quinnipiac reported 64% of adults approve of Biden's policies, 28% disapprove and 8% offered no opinion.
Monmouth reported similar numbers: 62% of respondents said Biden has done a good job handling the pandemic, while 31% disagreed.
“Good will for the president remains high, particularly for his response to the pandemic,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Around six in 10 adults said they supported Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, which passed in March, Monmouth found. The bill received resounding support from Democrats — 96% of whom said they approved, compared to 23% of Republicans and 63% of independents.
More Democrats than Republicans get vaccinated
Vaccine hesitancy remains high, despite confidence in Biden's efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. One in five American adults told Monmouth pollsters they are unwilling to get the vaccine. Over half of respondents to the Quinnipiac poll have received at least one shot, and 68% reported having been vaccinated or plan to be vaccinated.
The disparity in both polls corresponds with political affiliation.
Among Republicans, 43% reported avoiding getting vaccinated altogether, per Monmouth. Quinnipiac reported similarly — 45% of Republicans said they do not plan to get vaccinated, but 50% also said they were already vaccinated or planning to get vaccinated.
“The number of people who have been skittish about the vaccine has dropped as more Americans line up for the shot, but the hardcore group who want to avoid it at all costs has barely budged," Murray said. "The recent news about J&J vaccines is probably not going to help that situation. On the other hand, it might not make it all that much worse since much of this reluctance is really ingrained in partisan identity.”
More Democrats (67%) than Republicans or independents (47%) told Monmouth pollsters they were vaccinated. Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said "only time will tell" if the recent pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccine distribution will affect the number of people who plan to get vaccinated.
Biden scores lowest on policies concerning migrants
Most respondents, 55%, told Quinnipiac they disapprove of Biden's policies regarding migrants. A mere 29% approved, while 15% offered no opinion.
The number of migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border increased 71% in March over the previous month. Republicans and Democrats alike have called the situation at the border a “crisis” and criticized Biden's handling of it.
"Though he gets generally positive numbers on his domestic strides as he nears his first 100 days in office, the president is confronting the same political quagmire south of the border that bedeviled his predecessor," Malloy said. "The border with Mexico, and the people trying to cross it, loom as a familiar crisis."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: National polls show Biden has higher approval ratings than Congress