After one year, the reviews from the American people in public polling on those topics, in many cases, have not been kind.
Biden won’t face the voters again until 2024, the ultimate judgment on what the American people think of the job he’s done in office. But to get a benchmark on how Americans are feeling on the issues closest to them, CNN analyzed recent polling in subject areas that were the most important to Americans in January 2021, when Biden took office.
But while the administration has boasted of all they’ve done to improve the country over the last year, public perception hasn’t followed suit.
On Wednesday, Biden acknowledged the need to reach out to Americans ahead of the midterm elections in November, vowing to spend year two speaking with the public and making the case for “what we’ve already done, why it’s important, and … what will happen if they support what else I want to do.”
Jobs and the economy
In his first year in office, Biden took a number of steps intended to bolster the economy and create jobs, including the signing of the American Rescue Plan and the bipartisan infrastructure law.
But as the pandemic has dragged on into its third calendar year, the President has faced challenges trying to ameliorate supply chain issues and inflation, labor shortages and volatile stocks have affected American consumers.
The average president at that point in the last 44 years (since we have been polling on the topic) had a net economic approval rating of +5 points. That means Biden’s is 18 points worse than the average.
The Biden administration undertook a number of major efforts to address Covid-19, such as ramping up vaccine manufacturing and distribution, purchasing and deploying vaccines abroad and purchasing major quantities of anti-viral treatments.
But there have also been missteps.
Diplomacy and foreign policy
Biden entered office declaring that America was returning to the world stage by reentering global agreements, like the Paris Climate Accords, and reestablishing close ties with American allied nations.
The President came into office calling for national unity, following the violent insurrection at the US Capitol by pro-Trump rioters attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Biden also spent his first year expressing the importance of compromise, using his infrastructure law as a prime example for how Republicans and Democrats can achieve major feats when they work together.
The Associated Press-NORC poll released Thursday showed only 16% of US adults felt the country was much more or somewhat more united, as compared to 43% who said much more or somewhat more divided. Forty-two percent of those polled said things were neither more united or divided under Biden.
CNN’s Jennifer Agiesta, Ariel Edwards-Levy and Harry Enten contributed to this report.