President Joe Biden’s handling of the pandemic in the early months of his term received higher marks from U.S. residents than former President Donald Trump earned in his final days in office, according to a new study by researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers. Meanwhile, governors’ pandemic approval ratings have declined slightly, according to the study.
Biden’s coronavirus management approval rating stood at 53 percent in a poll taken about two months after he moved into the Oval Office. That figure exceeds Trump’s support in December, his last full month in the White House, in 44 states. Trump bested Biden in the other six states, all of them Republican-leaning. They include Arkansas, Louisiana, and Wyoming.
Trump’s support slipped to 32 percent in December from 35 percent in October.
The higher numbers for Biden weren’t entirely surprising given Trump’s historically low COVID-19 approvals, explains David Lazer, university distinguished professor of political science and computer and information sciences at Northeastern, and one of the researchers who conducted the study.
Another reason for Biden’s larger support in the early going could be the goodwill afforded a new president, Lazer adds.
“He’s still in his honeymoon period,” he says.