Though President Joe Biden is still garnering widespread approval on his response to the Covid-19 pandemic, a majority of Americans now disapprove of his response to gun violence and the influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border—two issues coming to a head in Washington as the president looks to move forward on his lofty policy agenda.
About 57% of the more than 500 American adults polled by Ipsos on Friday and Saturday said they disapprove of Biden’s handling of gun violence in the wake of several deadly shootings across the country.
Two-thirds of respondents said reducing gun violence by enacting new laws should be prioritized over protecting the right to own a “wide variety” of guns, but that includes more than 90% of Democrats and only one in three Republicans.
On immigration, 57% of respondents said they disapproved of Biden’s response to the surge in migrants and unaccompanied children showing up at the nation’s southern border, with 54% of Americans calling it a crisis and an additional 42% characterizing it as a serious problem.
Meanwhile, about 60% of Americans said they approve of Biden’s economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic, but only 30% said he is making the country more united.
Biden garnered bipartisan support on the distribution of coronavirus vaccines during his presidency, with 75% approval among respondents, including 53% of Republicans and 92% of Democrats, according to the poll.
There have been three mass shootings in the country in the past two weeks, and the number of migrants encountered by officials at the U.S.-Mexico border is at a nearly two-year high. The Department of Health and Human Services has been scrambling to open temporary migrant shelters in convention centers, sports arenas and other places, and Biden has insisted the uptick is partly because his administration has rolled back the policy of turning away unaccompanied children at the border. On gun violence, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said to NBC News on Sunday that two bills passed in the House earlier this month to strengthen background checks for gun sales are “not going to get 60 votes,” but he did say some form of compromise gun control policy could garner the necessary support.
“The President has been an advocate for gun safety measures… and 90% of the public supports universal background checks; that’s something the Senate should be able to move forward on,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Sunday while also touting Biden’s new infrastructure plan. “[Biden] knows that as president, you’ve got to do multiple things at the same time and he’s ready to do that.”