As President Biden approaches his 100th day in office, Americans like him and Republicans don’t know how to make them stop.
Polls show the new president is highly popular. According to a new survey by CNN, 53 per cent of Americans approve of the job Mr Biden is doing, which is significant considering only 44 per cent said the same of Donald Trump at the same point in his tenure.
On the pandemic, Mr Biden’s numbers are even higher. A whopping 66 per cent approve of his handling of the virus. Even among Republicans, 30 per cent support his pandemic policies – which is 16 per cent higher than their support for him on any other issue.
In general, 53 per cent of Americans say Mr Biden has the right priorities, and 59 per cent say he’s keeping his promises. In both cases, that’s better than presidents Trump or Clinton were doing on their 100th days.
With such a popular Democrat in office, Republicans are struggling to find a way to attack him.
“He’s very difficult to pin down one negative thing on him,” Robert Blizzard, a Republican pollster, told the news agency McClatchy. “That is an ongoing challenge for Republicans.”
Whereas Mr Trump stirred up daily controversies with his tweets and rallies, Mr Biden has taken a deliberately low-key approach to the presidency – something that has come as a relief to many Americans. As a result, the worst thing many Republicans can say about him is that he’s boring.
“He’s bland,” Steven Law, CEO of the Senate Leadership Fund super PAC, told McClatchy. “Perhaps he’s strategically bland, or just is. There’s not a lot that sticks out about him.”
Senator Ted Cruz has called Mr Biden “boring but radical.” Mr Trump calls him “Sleepy Joe.” Others simply try to change the subject entirely, shifting their focus to culture wars like the “cancelling” of Dr Seuss or more polarizing Democrats like Nancy Pelosi or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The urge to change targets is so strong that many Republicans have started pretending Kamala Harris is really in charge.
All the while, Mr Biden’s numbers continue to climb. Fifty-four per cent told CNN they find him honest and trustworthy – way more than the 37 per cent who said the same of Mr Trump four years ago. Fifty-seven per cent say he cares about people like them, 52 per cent say he inspires confidence, and 56 per cent say he can lead the government effectively.
And if he’s boring, experts say that may be part of the charm.
“Now there’s a sense of relief,” Sarah Longwell, a former GOP operative who studies voting trends, told McClatchy. “Imagine there’s a car alarm that’s been going off for a long time and suddenly it’s quiet.”