New polling from Monmouth University shows that President Joe Biden's agenda continues to be popular with Americans despite the wild cries of "socialism” springing up from the Republican Party.
"Support for the Bipartisan Infrastructure deal (BIF), which passed Congress last week and awaits the president’s signature, stands at 65%, down just a few points from prior polls. Support for the still-pending Build Back Better (BBB) plan to expand access to health care, college, paid leave and other services remains steady at 62%. Furthermore, 60% of Americans support the climate change funding part of the BBB bill.”
Since last spring, Biden's legislative proposals ranging from pandemic relief to the infrastructure and family and climate bills have polled extremely well, typically at 60% or higher.
But given Democrats' electoral losses last week, the Monmouth polling shows that Biden's sagging approval ratings haven't cut into support for his overall agenda. That's good news, particularly now that Democrats have the infrastructure win in their pocket as they push forward to finalize the Build Back Better bill.
Last week's elections suggested that, among other things, Democrats must have accomplishments to run on—along with something to show for their unified control of the federal government.
Given some of the takeaways, Democrats already had little choice but to press forward on the bills they have been debating for months. After all, failure to enact an agenda is about the worst possible outcome for a political party in power—even if that agenda fails to garner strong public support. Republicans' disapprovals during Trump's tenure peaked at their highest levels in 2017 after they twice failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Although Biden's approval rating in the poll was eight points underwater at just 42%, the popularity of his agenda remains strong. That suggests Republican attacks (which are all over the place) on both pieces of legislation have failed to get traction. It also suggests Democratic inaction on a popular agenda was likely a bigger drag on Democratic candidates last week than the Democratic agenda itself.
In short, enacting both bills only stands to help Democrats in next year's midterms.