NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, May 27th, 2021

Most Washingtonians approve of President Joe Biden’s job performance, NPI poll finds

A sol­id major­i­ty of Wash­ing­to­ni­ans approve of Pres­i­dent Joe Biden’s job per­for­mance after more than one hun­dred days on the job, a new sur­vey con­duct­ed for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute has found.

54% of respon­dents told NPI’s poll­ster that they approved of Biden’s job per­for­mance, while 41% dis­ap­proved. 5% said they were not sure.

Biden and his run­ning mate Kamala Har­ris eas­i­ly car­ried Wash­ing­ton State in the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, with near­ly 58% back­ing the Demo­c­ra­t­ic tick­et. This con­tin­ued a long trend of sup­port for Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­nees from Wash­ing­ton vot­ers. The state has­n’t backed a Repub­li­can since Rea­gan in 1984.

Biden and Har­ris took office in the midst of incred­i­bly dif­fi­cult circumstances.

The new admin­is­tra­tion inher­it­ed a coun­try slammed by the worst pub­lic health cat­a­stro­phe in a cen­tu­ry, a strug­gling econ­o­my, a fed­er­al gov­ern­ment hol­lowed out by Trump sab­o­tage and cor­rup­tion, a very poor pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor cyber­se­cu­ri­ty pos­ture, a hor­rif­ic gun vio­lence epi­dem­ic, a reck­on­ing over sys­temic racism and police bru­tal­i­ty, and a glob­al cli­mate cri­sis that is harm­ing every­one, but espe­cial­ly Black, Indige­nous, and Brown communities.

Despite not hav­ing had the ben­e­fit of the out­go­ing regime’s coop­er­a­tion for his pres­i­den­tial tran­si­tion, and despite hav­ing only bare Demo­c­ra­t­ic majori­ties in Con­gress to work with, Biden has already got­ten a lot done in con­junc­tion with Har­ris and the rest of his team. That includes hun­dreds of mil­lions of vac­cine dos­es admin­is­tered and pas­sage of the Amer­i­can Res­cue Plan.

Wash­ing­to­ni­ans can be pret­ty crit­i­cal when judg­ing their elect­ed offi­cials’ job per­for­mance, so it is to Biden’s cred­it that he gets favor­able marks from a major­i­ty of vot­ers in our state after four months in office.

Biden’s pre­de­ces­sor Don­ald Trump notably nev­er once received a favor­able approval rat­ing from Ever­green State res­i­dents while in office.

Let’s look at Biden’s job per­for­mance by region.

First, here are the statewide num­bers again:

QUESTION: Do you approve or dis­ap­prove of Pres­i­dent Joe Biden’s job performance?

ANSWERS:

  • Approve: 54%
  • Dis­ap­prove: 41%
  • Not sure: 5%

Now, here are the num­bers by region:

QUESTION: Do you approve or dis­ap­prove of Pres­i­dent Joe Biden’s job performance?

ANSWERS:

  • King Coun­ty
    • Approve: 70%
    • Dis­ap­prove: 23%
    • Not sure: 7%
  • North Puget Sound 
    • Approve: 54%
    • Dis­ap­prove: 42%
    • Not sure: 4%
  • South Sound
    • Approve: 40%
    • Dis­ap­prove: 55%
    • Not sure: 5%
  • Olympic Penin­su­la and South­west Washington 
    • Approve: 55%
    • Dis­ap­prove: 40%
    • Not sure: 5%
  • East­ern and Cen­tral Washington 
    • Approve: 41%
    • Dis­ap­prove: 57%
    • Not sure: 3%

Biden’s best region is King Coun­ty, which is not sur­pris­ing, and his worst region is East­ern and Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton… also not surprising.

The more inter­est­ing num­bers are from the oth­er three regions.

Let’s start with the good news for Biden: his job per­for­mance is viewed favor­ably by vot­ers in the South­west Wash­ing­ton and the Olympic Penin­su­la region.

Biden did win the north­ern Penin­su­la (Clal­lam and Jef­fer­son coun­ties) last year. How­ev­er, Biden lost the south­ern Penin­su­la (Pacif­ic, Mason, Grays Har­bor, Wahki­akum, Lewis, Cowlitz coun­ties) to Don­ald Trump.

Democ­rats also got swept leg­isla­tive­ly in that region as the 19th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict flipped com­plete­ly red for the first time in its cur­rent incar­na­tion. It’s a real­ly encour­ag­ing sign for Democ­rats that vot­ers in this region think Biden is doing a good job over­all as President.

The flip side of the ledger is the South Sound.

55% of vot­ers there dis­ap­prove of Biden’s job per­for­mance, while only 40% approve. As we can see, the num­bers in the South Sound — a region Biden won in 2020 — are the exact oppo­site of the North Sound, the oth­er major sub­ur­ban dom­i­nat­ed region in our geo­graph­ic break­down. Biden’s approval num­ber in the South Sound is even a tick low­er than it is East­ern and Cen­tral Washington.

If the South Sound num­bers mir­rored the North Sound num­bers, Biden’s statewide job per­for­mance approval would be clos­er to six­ty per­cent and match the per­cent­age of the vote he received in last year’s pres­i­den­tial election.

Our sur­vey of 992 like­ly 2022 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers was in the field from Tues­day, May 25th through Wednes­day, May 26th, 2021.

It uti­lizes a blend­ed method­ol­o­gy, with auto­mat­ed phone calls to land­lines (50%) and text mes­sage answers from cell phone only respon­dents (50%).

The poll was con­duct­ed by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute, and has a mar­gin of error of +/- 3.1% at the 95% con­fi­dence interval.

Nation­wide polls show that most Amer­i­cans approve of Joe Biden’s job per­for­mance, just as most Wash­ing­to­ni­ans do. The FiveThir­tyEight and RCP track­ers have Biden at 54.2% nation­al­ly — the same as in our state-lev­el poll.

Tomor­row, May 28th, we’ll share our find­ings on Wash­ing­ton’s 2022 Unit­ed States Sen­ate race. Join us here on the Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate for an ear­ly look at the mar­quee statewide race in next year’s midterm elections.

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  1. […] Pres­i­dent Joe Biden was favor­ably rat­ed by 54% of poll respon­dents, a find­ing we release…. An even high­er num­ber of respon­dents — 56% — expressed sup­port for abol­ish­ing the fil­i­buster in the Unit­ed States Senate. […]

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