President Joe Biden took office at a particularly polarized time in American history, so it should come as no surprise that citizens are divided over his performance at the one-year mark.
A Georgia history teacher who voted for Biden would give him a “C” grade, blaming the president for not pushing first to end the filibuster in the Senate, but supporting his Build Back Better plan. We do.
A retired nurse in Iowa who supported Pete Buttigieg in the Democratic primary says she has been impressed by the way Biden has upheld the dignity of the office.
A registered independent in Arizona, who voted for former President Donald Trump, says Biden’s first year has been “very bad,” citing the closure of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and chaotic Afghanistan return.
Here’s what more Americans had to say about the work Biden has done so far:
Craig Pritchard believes Donald Trump should be in jail. But he’s far from your typical anti-Trumper: He voted for her in 2016.
But not in 2020. “No, sir,” says the self-described 65-year-old independent from Des Moines, Iowa.
Prichard is still angry at Trump over the January 6 Capitol uprising he believes the former president caused. But it was because of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic that prompted Prichard to vote for Biden in 2020.
“Trump wanted to show that COVID was going away,” Prichard says. “That was not the way to take care of it.”
Pritchard, who spent 40 years building farm machinery, doing construction work and eventually retired last year after a stint at a meatpacking plant, says Biden has been working on several other issues to “handle Covid as well as can”.
“Biden, you can tell he’s trying to handle the pandemic, food prices, gas prices, Russia at the same time, and he doesn’t care what he looks like,” Prichard says. “Because it’s not really good for him right now, even though fewer people are dying than Trump.”
“Trump, turns out, only cared about how he looked,” Prichard says.
Teacher gives Joe Biden a ‘C’ grade
Kai Uchimura, a high school history teacher living in Decatur, Georgia, voted for Biden in 2020. He would give them a “C” grade as of now.
Uchimura, 26, describes himself as left-leaning on most issues, although he is not a registered Democrat. He says he supports Biden’s social policy bill that has been stalled in Congress, but thinks Democrats have done a poor job of explaining its benefits.
“That Build Back Better Plan, it looked like nobody knew what was on the bill other than the cost,” he says.
He also blamed Biden for not pushing first to end the filibuster in the Senate, which requires 60 votes to pass most legislation. Last week, for the first time, Biden directly advocated eliminating filibuster To debate and vote on election and voting rights legislation.
“I know that when he was coming into office, he had a message to unite the country and try to extend a hand across the corridor,” Uchimura says. “But I wish he had recognized earlier that this era of bipartisanship appears to be very much on thin ice.”
The Biden Voter Who Opposes Polarization
Lynn Manning-John, a school principal on a Native American reservation on the Nevada-Idaho border, is happy with Biden’s first year in office, but worries that his presidency has further polarized his community.
At a Walmart in Elko County, Nevada, an animal husbandry sector that heavily supported the former president, he heard customers complain about how Biden’s agenda has entered “Trump country.”
“There is a reluctance to support the current president,” says the 45-year-old independent voter. “Whatever he puts forward, there is a pushback towards him, even if it is good and common sense.” She was particularly pleased with the nomination of a fellow Native American, Deb Haaland, as Biden’s Secretary of the Interior.
The superintendent and five of the seven school board members in Elko County resigned last year during protests from parent groups outside the Duck Valley Indian Reservation over lesson plans about equity and diversity in parts of the county Was.
Manning-John sees the resignation and parenting demands as a response to Biden’s 2020 victory.
She says Biden’s election victory is still unrealistic for many Americans.
“And the full rebellion that has come since then goes straight to the school boards,” she says.
Biden Voters Very of Liberal
Patrick Sweeney voted for Biden, but is disappointed the president hasn’t pushed back more against the Democratic Party’s leftist.
“I wish he’d claimed and staked the middle ground, and more so, ‘that’s what the Democratic Party represents,'” says Sweeney, a 62-year-old retired teacher in a Phoenix suburb. political party.
“It seems that a lot of the conversation is focused on the extreme left and progressive positions of the Democratic Party,” Sweeney says. “I think he needs to be more front and center to combat this.”
Sweeney is happy with the infrastructure bill Biden signed into law, but wants it to stay there rather than pursue a massive increase in social service spending.
“I was excited about the basic infrastructure plan,” Sweeney says. “I think it’s long overdue, and I was really happy to see it, and I think it could and should have been a great achievement. Roll the bulldozers and shovels and get to work. He goes on.” Says: “The Build Back Better Plan, I think, has a lot to offer that I don’t see a need for, or I don’t know if the federal government is the solution.”
The Trump Voter Who Isn’t Impressed
Eric Olarsaba says Biden’s presidency has been “very bad”. But 33-year-old Trump voters are not surprised.
“He’s doing exactly what I expected him to do,” says Olersba, a registered independent who lives in Phoenix and works at an online car retailer. “He’s a career politician.”
He is disappointed that Biden shut down the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and he was stunned by the chaotic US military exit from Afghanistan.
“We’re probably going to be dependent on other countries for energy, which I could potentially lead to another conflict, or we could find ourselves in another war,” Olarsaba says. “I think we still need a US presence in Afghanistan. Not a major military operation, but we still need a presence and I think that will make that area – at least for the United States – a little less dangerous.” Will be done.
He says that the US should not have depended on the cooperation of the Taliban to get the Americans out of Afghanistan. They worry that the loss of influence there will give terrorist groups a chance to gain a foothold.
Democrats Who Like Mayor Pete
Biden was not Kathleen Paul’s first pick. The 74-year-old retired nurse took on Pete Buttigieg in the Democratic primary.
“I thought Biden was like ‘Joaquin’ Joe,” Paul says. He said, “He said things that were very different when (Barack) Obama was president. I thought, ‘Can we really take this guy seriously?'”
Turns out, to her little surprise, she can.
“I’ve been really impressed by the way he maintains the dignity of the office, the way he expresses himself,” says Paul, a self-described liberal Democrat from Des Moines, Iowa. “I knew he had experience and had gone through tragedy. But I didn’t know he could convey the weight of it.
She credits Biden for following the science in dealing with the pandemic, but blames it for his naive optimism in setting July 4th as the date by which 70% of the nation’s eligible population was vaccinated. Will go That goal was achieved months later, but the percentage has dropped to less than 70% due to qualifying younger children.
She was also upset by the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying the administration should have seen the end result: “Bombs going off, people running down the runway behind planes.”
“They took this step, and it was not done well,” she says. “If you’re 20, what’s another six months to get off the Band-Aid a little more slowly?”
The Biden voter who wants to cut his own horn
Natalie Rawlings, a registered Democrat who voted for Biden, says the president doesn’t get enough credit for everything that’s going right, like the strong job market that has made it easier for workers to change jobs.
But she thinks it’s partly her own fault.
“I don’t know why he’s having such a hard time with messaging,” says 50-year-old Rollings, an Atlanta resident who works for a Fortune 500 company. “Did Biden think his plans were going to sell themselves?”
She also thinks Biden has mishandled his ability to persuade his former allies in the Senate to back his agenda.
“Biden is a little more than he can chew,” she says. “Maybe if he sped things up more, but now it will appear he’s backpedaling.”
It is still early, but he doubts he will be a two-time president.
“I can’t see a clear path for Biden in a second term,” she says.
Trump voters are happy with some Biden initiatives
JJ Goicochia, a rancher from Eureka, Nevada, voted for Trump and plans to vote Republican again, but says he has been pleasantly surprised by the Biden administration’s agricultural initiatives, including small family farms like his and correspond to the fields.
Farms and ranches have received more than $1 billion in relief dollars since Biden took office. The administration has worked to fund independent processors after shutting down beef plants during the pandemic and engaging farmers with regards to climate change, asking them to help offset carbon emissions through strategies such as planting carbon-capturing crops. Worked to encourage
But Goicochia, 47, is concerned that the effort to tighten regulations and the Packers and Stockyards Act could have unintended consequences and cost increases in an industry where many farms already operate on small margins. He attributes inflation to the government’s spending and relief programs, which the administration has helped push through Congress, and says it has raised costs on everything needed to operate the cattle farm.
“The cost of doing business has almost doubled compared to last year,” says Goicochia, citing the prices of hay, fuel, fertilizer and tires for pickups and tractors. “I’m a little worried about where he’s going. We keep asking for help, they give us a little monetary help, and that way inflation gets higher.”
The social worker who is reconsidering her vote
Gina Masia reluctantly voted for Biden, considering the better of the two bad choices. But now the 49-year-old social worker is not so convinced.
“Yeah, there was a lot of division,” the Brooklyn resident says of the Trump era. But with Trump, “you knew what you were getting.”
“Was he a fanatic? He was all. None of us are perfect. We all come with things, right? But I think he would have done a lot more if he was re-elected.” She adds: “I take his full side over Biden. And woo, that’s what a black person is saying, isn’t it?”
“It might sound crazy to some people that I’m saying that,” she says, “but I feel the same way.”
Masia, a registered Democrat who doesn’t feel bound to either party, associates Biden with other politicians who make big promises but “forget about you” once in office.
He is particularly disappointed by the lack of progress on racial issues. While he said many had given up hope because Vice President Kamala Harris is a woman of color, “we are still being killed by the police. We are still being targeted when we go to the shops.”
Masia is tired.
“I’m just fed up. Really fed up.”
Associated Press writer Thomas Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa; Sudheen Thanawala in Atlanta; Jonathan J. Cooper in Phoenix; Sam Metz in Carson City, Nevada; and Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.