Reuters/Ipsos Core Political Survey: Presidential Approval Tracker (03/18/2021)

The majority of Americans approve of the way Biden is handling the economy and COVID-19

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Jocelyn Duran Account Manager, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, March 18, 2021 —  As stimulus checks go out this week, courtesy of the American Rescue Plan, the latest Reuters/Ipsos Core Political survey finds Biden’s approval rating on the rise. The economy continues to be the most pressing issue for Americans, followed by public health. When asked about what issues Biden should prioritize, COVID-19 and the economy are most urgent. Finally, nearly two-thirds of Americans approve of the way Biden is handling the coronavirus pandemic.

Eighteen percent of Americans say the economy is the most important issue facing the country today. Sixteen percent say public health is the most important, and finally, the healthcare system and immigration are tied at third (9% for both).

Main issues Americans are facing

Democrats are most concerned about public health, with 21% saying it is the most important issue. The economy and inequality come in second, with 13% of Democrats citing each of those issues. Meanwhile, among Republicans, immigration is now as important as the economy (each mentioned by 19% of Republicans). Independents are most concerned about the economy (20%) and public health (14%).

Main issues Americans are facing by party id

Biden's approval rating has risen since last week; 59% of Americans now approve of Joe Biden's performance as President, compared to 54% last week.

Biden Approval

Support for Biden among Democrats remains high (92% approval), followed by 56% among independents and 23% among Republicans. 

Biden Approval by party id

When asked for the top two issues that they think Biden should prioritize, Americans cite COVID-19 (41%) and the economy (34%) most often. 


Among Democrats and independents, the economy (25% and 42%, respectively) and coronavirus (60% and 38%) remain the top priorities. For Republicans, however, the issue of immigration (37%)  is a bigger priority than COVID-19 (23%), which is on par with employment and jobs (23%). 

Priorities by party id

As for what Americans think of Biden's handling of these issues, he gets the highest marks for his handling of the coronavirus (65% approve) and the economy (tied with employment at 52%). Over half of Americans also approve of how he is handling racial inequality, unifying the country, and the environment (51% for all). 

Biden Issue Approval

Democrats (93%) and independents (54%) are most likely to approve of Biden's handling of COVID-19, while only 39% of Republicans do. Thirty-nine percent approval on COVID-19 is also the highest approval rating Biden gets from Republicans, with all other issues getting a less than 30% rating. Independents give their highest approval rating to Biden's handling of the coronavirus, followed by his approach to unifying the country and the economy (43% for both). Finally, Democrats give Biden high marks all around, with over three-quarters of them approving of the way Biden is handling almost all issues (except international trade (69%) and immigration and taxation (both 73%).

Biden issue approval by party id

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between March 17-18, 2021 on behalf of Thomson Reuters. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 Americans age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii were interviewed online in English. The sample includes 456 Democrats, 374 Republicans and 113 independents. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Americans been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. The poll also has a credibility interval ± 5.2 percentage points for Democrats, ± 5.8 percentage points for Republicans, and ± 10.5 percentage points for independents.  

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Senior Vice President, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

Kate Silverstein
Media Relations, US
Public Affairs
+1 718 755-8829
[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third-largest Insights and Analytics company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5,000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

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The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Jocelyn Duran Account Manager, US, Public Affairs