Poll: Minnesotans divided over Biden’s performance at work

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WASHINGTON – Minnesota voters are intensely divided over Joe Biden’s performance less than a year after the start of the Democratic presidency, according to a new poll from Minnesota.

Just over half disapprove of Biden’s job as president, 47% approve and 2% are unsure. The poll of 800 registered voters, conducted September 13-15, was sponsored by the Star Tribune, MPR News, KARE 11 and FRONTLINE.

Biden won Minnesota by around 7 percentage points last November on his way to defeat Republican President Donald Trump in a controversial White House campaign during the coronavirus pandemic. But since taking office two weeks after the violent Jan.6 insurgency at the United States Capitol, Biden has had to face a narrow Democratic majority in Congress and guide the United States in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

“The number of executive orders he took was ridiculous,” said Patricia Gilbert, a 61-year-old Trump voter in Bemidji who disapproves of Biden. Gilbert said she feared Biden was a “puppet” and said she thought the 2020 national presidential competition was “a pretty corrupt election.”

This view is ubiquitous among some Trump voters who buy into the former president’s baseless claims about election theft, saying the campaign knew they were wrong in the days after the election, according to a memo. service revealed in a lawsuit against the campaign and others by a former employee of Dominion, a voting machine company.

Men are overwhelmingly unhappy with the president, with 70% disapproving of his performance at work and 28% approving him. Biden fared much better with female voters, where 64% approved and 34% disapproved. “The gap in support between men and women for Biden is particularly large,” said Kathryn Pearson, professor of political science at the University of Minnesota. “But the direction is consistent with the gender gap academics have observed since 1980.”

The conclusions come at a pivotal moment for the President. After the nation saw progress against the coronavirus earlier this year, the rise of the delta variant and renewed concerns about the pandemic prompted Biden to take federal action earlier this month that included new requirements.

Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla., Surveyed 800 registered voters in Minnesota by cell phone and landline. The margin of sampling error for the survey is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

While Biden’s position has remained high with Democrats, 93% of whom said they approved of Biden’s work in the White House, 95% of Republicans disapproved. Biden also struggled with voters who identify as independent / other, with 62% expressing disapproval versus 34% approving. Biden fared better with younger Minnesotans, with 62% of voters aged 18-34 approving the president while 37% disapproving. Voters in other age groups showed higher negative ratings for the president.

In March, Biden appeared to score an early legislative victory by signing the $ 1.9 trillion US bailout that included billions of dollars for Minnesota. But over the past month, the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has become a major crisis for the administration.

Congress is grappling with an estimated $ 1,000 billion bipartisan infrastructure measure backed by Biden that passed the Senate but has not yet authorized the House. The president also faces major political challenges over a separate $ 3.5 trillion spending program that Republicans oppose that could be undermined by unrest among Democrats. Failure of either of these goals could be a major setback for Biden’s presidency, as well as Democrats’ chances of retaining control of the House and Senate in the 2022 midterm election. .

Biden has the approval of 69% of voters in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, but his approval was much lower in other parts of the state. In the metro suburbs, 38% approved and 61% disapproved of Biden’s professional performance. Those ratings fell further for the president of northern Minnesota, where 35% approved and 64% disapproved. In southern Minnesota, only a third of voters said they approved of Biden’s professional performance.

For Mary Jo Schaak, her support came from the belief that Biden “picked up dead ends”. The 69-year-old Democrat, a retired St. Paul nurse who voted for Biden, said that “if we had handled COVID properly on its first outing, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in” .

“The denial of the former president did not help the situation,” she said, referring to Trump. Schaak, who worked as an electoral judge, also pointed to “utter disorder in Afghanistan” as another challenge Biden inherited.

“After 20 years, someone had to step down,” she said. “So someone had to be the bad guy. And I think he got bad press because of that. In fact, we should have pulled out a long time ago.”

Hunter Woodall • 612-673-4559

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