A new NPR/Marist poll finds that a majority of Americans approve of the Democrats' accomplishments in 2021, namely the infrastructure bill (56%), the stimulus checks (80% of the 62% of Americans who say they got them), and the child tax credit payments of $300 per month (79% of the 59% of Americans who are parents of kids under 18).
The bad news is that Biden's Build Back Better plan has only 41% support, with a full 25% unsure of what's even in the plan at all, with 61% of Americans saying the country is headed in the wrong direction (88% of Republicans and two-thirds of independents). NPR seems to think the problems are inflation and bad messaging.
Americans don't feel the direct payments or expanded child tax credits doled out earlier this year helped them much, according to the latest NPR/Marist poll, and they don't see Democrats' signature legislation as addressing their top economic concern — inflation.
Additionally, they're down on the job President Biden is doing, don't give him much credit for the direct payments or tax credits, and have soured on the direction of the country.
The results, out Thursday, come as Democrats prepare a nationwide push to sell voters on their policies ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, when the party will defend its slim majorities in both the House and the Senate.
Americans do mostly endorse the new infrastructure law but are less supportive of Democrats' Build Back Better bill that has passed the House. And while that legislation would expand the social safety net, survey respondents weren't convinced that it would help people like them.
"They [Democrats] don't have a unified message for what they're doing, and that does not bode well for the party," said Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll.
It certainly doesn't help when all of NPR's coverage of Democrats is either "Manchin and Sinema are against the Biden bill", "Vice President Harris is a weird loser who would lose to Mayor Pete" or "Nancy Pelosi has lost control".