Yahoo News/YouGov poll: More than two-thirds of Americans side with Biden on COVID relief — and most support the rest of his agenda

When asked about the 20 policies that define President Biden’s agenda, more Americans support than oppose all 20 of them, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.

The margins are decisive. The majority of Biden’s proposals garner at least twice as much support as opposition. Nearly half are favored by more than 60 percent of Americans.

The survey of 1,516 U.S. adults, which was conducted from Jan. 20 to Jan. 21, comes at a time when partisan divisions in Washington are driving a fierce debate over the size and scope of Biden’s COVID-19 rescue package. On Monday, the president is set to meet with a group of 10 Republican senators who want to slash his $1.9 trillion plan to secure their backing in Congress.

Joe Biden
Biden at the White House on Friday. (Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)

But despite the distance between politicians on Capitol Hill, the Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that ordinary Americans overwhelmingly favor most of Biden’s agenda — particularly his plan to end a pandemic that has killed more than 440,000.

Of all 20 policies covered by the poll, the two most popular were the ones at the center of Biden’s current COVID proposal: $2,000 relief checks (74 percent favor vs. 13 percent oppose) and increased federal funding for vaccination (69 percent favor vs. 17 percent oppose). A full 58 percent of Americans also support raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, another key element of Biden’s COVID-19 rescue package. That’s almost twice the share of Americans (31 percent) who oppose a wage hike. Nearly identical numbers favor (57 percent) and oppose (32 percent) a national mask mandate.

In contrast, the $600 billion Republican plan floated Monday would shrink relief checks by $400 and deliver them to fewer Americans. It would also keep the federal minimum wage at $7.25 an hour.

A full 59 percent of Americans agree with the president that the pandemic should be his top priority. The next closest issue was the economic recovery, at 24 percent.

After calling in his inaugural address for an end to America’s “uncivil war,” Biden also appears to be finding common ground with his constituents on the economy, health care, climate change, immigration and criminal justice. Two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) favor “more federal funding for research and development to assist domestic manufacturing” and “investing in renewable energy infrastructure,” the core planks of Biden’s separate COVID-19 recovery package, which he hopes to advance later this year. Opposition is negligible, at 13 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

People demonstrate
People demonstrate in Washington to demand an end to the separation of migrant children from their parents. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)

More than 60 percent of Americans — the equivalent of a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate — also support “stopping family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border” (64 percent to 20 percent); “creating a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children” (61 percent to 23 percent); and “enacting comprehensive criminal-justice reform” (63 percent to 12 percent).

And half or more Americans favor “cutting carbon emissions to zero by the year 2050” (54 percent to. 23 percent); “rejoining the World Health Organization” (57 percent to 28 percent); “giving all Americans the option of buying Medicare-like public health insurance” (57 percent to 22 percent); and “providing more federal funding for community policing measures” (51 percent to 21 percent); and “reversing the recent tax cuts for Americans making more than $400,000” (50 percent to 30 percent).

Meanwhile, opposition to most of the rest of Biden’s agenda stalls out below 35 percent, including “rejoining the Paris Climate Accords” (48 percent to 30 percent); “reversing the recent tax cut for corporations” (45 percent to 32 percent); and “eliminating tuition at public colleges and universities for families making up to $125,000” (47 percent to 33 percent).

The only Biden policies that received nearly as much opposition as support were “halting construction on the border wall with Mexico” (45 percent to 42 percent) and “ending the ban on travelers from Muslim-majority countries” (42 percent to 35 percent) — perhaps because they were also the two policies most closely identified with former President Donald Trump, triggering the usual partisan resistance.

In that sense, America’s divisions have hardly healed. By a better than two-to-one margin, more Americans believe Joe Biden won the 2020 election “fair and square” (57 percent) than believe “the election was rigged and stolen from Trump” (27 percent), with 16 percent unsure. Yet 68 percent of Trump voters still believe in the false notion that the election was stolen.

Similarly, Americans are united in revulsion toward the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, with 81 percent saying it was not justified, versus just 8 percent who say it was. More than 9 in 10 Americans said the attack made them feel “angry,” “ashamed” or “fearful.” The attack came after Trump headlined a nearby rally urging supporters to “fight” in the name of his false election fraud claims. Five people were killed, including a Capitol Police officer.

Pro-Trump supporters
Pro-Trump supporters at the Capitol on Jan. 6. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

But when asked about Trump’s responsibility for the attack or his upcoming Senate impeachment trial over the incident, Americans split roughly 50-40, suggesting that views about the former president remain as polarized as ever. Specifically:

  • 49 percent of Americans agree that Trump incited his supporters to attack the Capitol, while 39 percent disagree

  • 51 percent approve of the House voting to impeach him, while 39 percent disagree

  • 48 percent want the Senate to convict him, while 41 percent do not

  • 53 percent want the Senate to bar him from holding future office, while 38 percent do not

  • 48 percent want to “hold Trump accountable for his role in the attack,” while 40 percent “want to put the attack behind us”

In each case, Republicans and Democrats responded along party lines in their support or opposition to Trump — though larger majorities endorsed Twitter’s decision to ban Trump (54 percent to 37 percent) as well as Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s remark that “the mob” was “provoked by the president” (53 percent to 35 percent).

One silver lining, however — and perhaps another patch of common ground — is a widening sense of patriotism among the public. In a July Yahoo News/YouGov survey, just 61 percent of Americans described themselves as “patriotic”; today that number is up to 69 percent. And while only slightly fewer Republicans feel patriotic now (84 percent) than in July (88 percent), patriotism among Democrats has risen 12 percentage points (from 56 percent to 68 percent) in the wake of Biden’s inauguration.


The Yahoo News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample

of 1,516 U.S. adults interviewed online from Jan. 20 to 21, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 and 2020 Presidential votes (or non vote), registration status, geographic region and urbanicity. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S adults. The margin of error is approximately 2.7 percent.


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