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Biden, Congress Approval Ratings Steady

Biden, Congress Approval Ratings Steady

Story Highlights

  • 54% of Americans approve of job Biden is doing as president; was 57% in April
  • 31% approve of the way Congress is handling job, on par with April's 33%
  • Democrats' approval of Biden and Congress much higher than Republicans'

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' approval ratings of President Joe Biden and the U.S. Congress remain stable at 54% and 31%, respectively. Biden's rating has not varied by more than three percentage points since his inauguration, while the rating for Congress was significantly lower in early January.

Line graph. Americans' approval ratings of President Joe Biden and Congress since January 2021. Currently, 54% of U.S. adults approve of Biden and 31% approve of Congress. Biden's rating has not varied by more than three percentage points since his inauguration, while the rating for Congress was significantly lower in early January.

Gallup's latest poll was conducted May 3-18 as COVID-19 cases continued to decline in the U.S. and an increasing number of Americans were vaccinated. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to include young people aged 12 through 15. These developments likely played a role in the public's overall continued positive assessment of the president.

The worse-than-expected jobs report released early this month, the ongoing struggle to process migrants at the Southern U.S. border, brief gas shortages in the Eastern part of the country, and the emerging Middle East crisis seem to have had little to no effect on how Americans view Biden's performance.

Meanwhile, congressional leadership met with Biden to discuss his infrastructure plans as tensions within the Republican Party came to a head. Republicans ultimately voted to strip Rep. Liz Cheney of her House leadership post after her repeated assertions that the presidential election was not stolen from former President Donald Trump and that he played a role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Party Divide in Approval Ratings Persists

Ratings of Biden and Congress are largely boosted by majority-level approval from Democrats. With near unanimity, Democrats approve of the job the president is doing (92%), while 54% approve of Congress. Independents are nearly twice as likely to approve of Biden (54%) as to approve of Congress (28%).

At the same time, the recent tumult in the Republican Party has not affected rank-and-file Republicans' rating of Congress. Nor have the challenges facing the Biden administration affected Republicans' approval of Biden, which was already low. Eight percent of Republicans approve of each.

Presidential and Congressional Job Approval
% Approving of the way each is handling their job
President Joe Biden Congress
% %
Democrat 92 54
Independent 54 28
Republican 8 8
GALLUP, May 3-18, 2021

Bottom Line

Biden continues to enjoy a relatively strong approval rating, outpacing Trump (39%) and Bill Clinton (45%) during May of their first year in office. Although Biden's rating trails Barack Obama's May reading (65%), it is roughly on par with those of George W. Bush (55%) and George H.W. Bush (58%). Readings for other post-World War II presidents were generally higher due to a number of factors, including a recent increase in the intensity of political polarization.

Meanwhile, congressional approval remains about as high as it has been in more than a decade, largely because of Democrats' positivity about having the majority in both houses. However, independents are also more approving of the current Congress than they had been in recent years. Republicans' approval has been very low since their party lost control of the Senate this past January, akin to Democrats' lower approval in 2017 and 2018, when the GOP controlled the legislative and executive branches.

View complete question responses and trends (PDF download).

Explore President Biden's approval ratings and compare them with those of past presidents in the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

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