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Tipsheet

Biden Loses Ground on Handling of the Pandemic

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Even as his approval ratings tanked, there was always one issue voters gave President Biden slightly higher marks on than his handling of the economy, immigration, or foreign policy, for example—and that was his response to Covid-19. Not anymore. 

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According to a Politico/Morning Consult survey published Wednesday, only 39 percent of registered voters approve of his handling of the pandemic, while 57 percent disapprove. This includes 17 percent who said Biden was doing an “excellent” job, 22 percent who believe he’s doing a “good” job handling the pandemic, 16 percent who said “just fair,” and 41 percent who gave him “poor” marks. Another 4 percent didn’t have an opinion. 

The numbers are moving on mandates as well, though as Politico points out, it's a tougher issue for Democrats to address since their voters are split.

Democratic governors have been trying to get ahead of pandemic fatigue by lifting mask mandates around the country. The country is moving further and further in that direction. Forty-nine percent of voters want mask mandates removed, while 43% say it is too early for states to rescind their mask mandates.

The tricky part for Democrats is that their voters are divided on the issue. A majority of Democrats still want mandates in place.

Support for a combination of masks and vaccines is dropping. Yes, a plurality of voters (49%) still feel that local governments should be encouraging Covid-19 vaccinations and masks in indoor public spaces, but that’s down 7 points since September. In the teeth of the pandemic, anti-masking sentiment was a fringe obsession limited to the right. But with the Omicron surge subsiding, it’s now mainstream — and growing in popularity. (Politico)

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The survey comes as Covid-19 cases, driven largely by the omicron variant over the holidays, are declining nationwide. 

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