The percentage of Americans who said the country is generally headed in the right direction has nearly doubled since former President Donald Trump left office in January.
An NBC News survey released Sunday showed a slight majority—53 percent—of U.S. adults said they either strongly approve or somewhat approve of the job President Joe Biden has been doing in the White House for the past four months.
The day after Biden’s January 20 inauguration in Washington D.C., the same poll found only 20 percent of Americans agreed the U.S. was “headed in the right direction.” But that share improved to about 40 percent among 1,000 adults surveyed between April 17-20. But owing to lingering partisan divides, the president only had a very slight decrease of Americans who view him “very negatively.”
Historically, the NBC News poll hadn’t recorded higher than 35 percent of Americans saying the country is going the right direction since March 20—data that was recorded just prior to the full coronavirus outbreak in the United States. In October, about 10 percent fewer Americans expressed the “right direction” mantra compared to this latest April survey. The highest share ever recorded was in September 2001, just following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in which an overwhelming 72 percent of Americans said the country was going the right way.
Still, this latest April poll shows a 56 percent majority of Americans think the country is “off on the wrong track.” That marks a 17 percent decrease in people with that negative general opinion compared to January 21, the day after Trump left the White House.
The lowest percentage ever is a two-way tie between October 2017 during Trump’s term and at the tail end of former President George W. Bush‘s term in 2008. At those times, only 12 percent of Americans agreed the country was headed in the right direction.
Among registered voters overall, Biden holds the approval of 51 percent of respondents, compared to 43 percent who said they disapprove of the job he’s doing as president.
Just over 1 in 5 Americans in the April survey said they have a “very positive” view of Trump, compared to 28 percent who said the same in January. Nearly half of Americans overall, 47 percent, said they have a “very negative” view of the former president. This is about the same percentage who said that when Biden took over his role in the White House.
The same survey released Sunday also focused on social media disputes, with two-thirds of Americans agreeing that such Big Tech platforms are dividing the country’s people. Bipartisan majorities of both Democrats and Republicans agreed that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are tearing the U.S. apart, particularly through political differences. A 65 percent majority of independent voters also said they think social media platforms are dividing Americans.
Despite this, two-thirds of Americans overall admitted to using at least one social media platform at least once every day.
Newsweek reached out to the White House for additional remarks.