Politics

Most Americans say things are going right in the country, an A.P./NORC poll finds.

By Giovanni Russonello

President Biden enjoys widespread job approval, as Americans’ optimism about the future continues to climb, according to a poll released Monday by The Associated Press and NORC.

Sixty-three percent of Americans said they approved of the work Biden was doing as president, while just 36 percent disapproved. That spread of 27 percentage points represents the widest approval margin in an A.P./NORC poll since Mr. Biden took office.

The president continued to receive broadly positive marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with seven in 10 respondents expressing approval. His approach to health care policy got a thumbs-up from 62 percent of Americans, and 54 percent approved of his work on foreign policy.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans said they approved of the job he was doing on the economy, while just 42 percent disapproved — although the poll was conducted from April 29 to May 3, before the administration released a disappointing April jobs report showing that the country was missing its targets on employment.

With migrants continuing to arrive at the southern border in high numbers, the poll found that just 43 percent of Americans approved of Mr. Biden’s handling of immigration. Fifty-four percent disapproved.

But for the first time in A.P./NORC polling going back four years, a majority of Americans said that the country was headed in the right direction — possibly driven in part by the decline in coronavirus cases nationwide.

Fifty-four percent of respondents said things were going right in the country, while 44 percent said things were on the wrong track. That shift is being fed by a rise in optimism among political independents: Nearly half of them said that things were moving in the right direction, according to the poll.

Since January, the A.P./NORC poll has consistently found at least six in 10 Americans approving of the president’s job performance, putting it on the more Biden-friendly end of the polling spectrum. (NORC polls are conducted using its probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, with most respondents completing the survey online and a small number contacted by phone.) But polling averages consistently show Mr. Biden’s approval rating over 50 percent.

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