United States President Joe Biden speaks in the Treaty Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

Andrew Harnik | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Joe Biden begins his presidency after achieving from the start what his predecessor could only do once in his four years: a positive approval rating.

The CNBC All-America Economic Survey found that 47% of the public approve of Biden’s handling of the presidency and 41% disapprove of it. 12% say they are not sure.

Former President Donald Trump was only able to break even once in the survey in March 2020.

The key to Biden’s support is a 62% approval rating for his handling of the coronavirus. A majority of 46% support his approach to the economy, 41% disapprove of it. However, the president appears to be struggling as only 29% approve of his approach to immigration and 52% disapprove.

“While nearly a third of Republicans are willing to give Biden high marks for Covid, virtually no one is willing to give him high marks for immigration,” said Jay Campbell, partner at Hart Research Associates and Democratic pollster for the CNBC poll . “If there was nothing else to discuss, this would be a huge problem for Biden right now and it could become a bigger problem.”

Another potential problem: 40% or the general public consider Biden’s policies to be “too liberal,” compared with 26% who consider them neither too liberal nor too conservative and 6% who say they are too conservative. 28% say they are not sure.

While Biden benefited from the popularity of its $ 1.9 trillion relief plan, the recently proposed $ 2.25 trillion infrastructure plan is less popular. It is supported by 36% of the public, compared to 33% who oppose it and 31% who are unsure.

Americans’ views of the current economic climate are unchanged from December. 34% say the economy is excellent or good. That is well above the level of former President Barack Obama’s first term, when the measure was in the single digits in the first two years.

A big driver of change: Democrats have become more optimistic, Republicans more pessimistic, and Independents are about the same. It’s a flip that occurs every time the White House resident changes sides and shows how economic attitudes for many are first filtered through the political prism.

But it is more serious now because of the non-partisanship.

“About a quarter of the opposing partisans were willing to give (Presidents) Bush, Clinton and Obama a chance,” said Campbell. “There is neither a great chance for Biden nor for Trump from Democrats.”

Hopeful for the economy

Good news for Biden came in terms of the economic outlook.

44% of the population believed the economy will improve over the next year, up from 38% in the December poll.

The positive outlook for the real estate market added to the outlook. 48% expected their property values ​​to rise over the next year, their highest level since 2019.

However, wage expectations are subdued. Only 27% expect an increase next year, the lowest level since 2011. This could be because the labor market continues to run into trouble after the upturn after the recession.

However, many people have only recently received pay increases from a minimum wage increase, and they may not expect another one anytime soon.

“That’s the lowest percentage of American adults who expect their wages to rise in a decade,” said Micah Roberts, partner in Public Opinion Strategies and Republican pollster for the poll. “And that is a very, very worrying number, especially since the Democrats and the Biden government want to raise wages as a rationale.”

Opinions on the stock market have never been more mixed.

37% say it is a good time to invest, 35% think it is a bad time, 28% are unsure. The difference between good and bad times is as small as it has been since 2019, and such tight margins have preceded a surge in the equity markets.

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(Correction: Corrects the company name in Public Opinion Strategies.)