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Last Updated: 7/23/2024, 4:02 PM

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President Biden at the southern border.

Biden Asylum Order Doesn’t Move Needle

National

Trump’s retrospective job rating better than Biden’s current numbers

West Long Branch, NJ – More Americans support than oppose President Joe Biden’s recent executive order shutting down asylum claims at the country’s southern border. However, public opinion on whether this move was tough enough on illegal immigration is a mixed bag, according to the Monmouth (“Mon-muth”) University Poll. Biden’s overall job rating remains decidedly negative. On top of that, his rating is lower than public memory of how his predecessor, Donald Trump, performed when he occupied the White House.

Chart titled: Biden's Immigration Executive Order. Refer to question 37 for details.

Four in 10 (40%) Americans are in favor of President Biden’s executive order to secure the U.S. border with Mexico by turning away migrants who seek asylum at the border, while 27% are opposed. Another 33% have no opinion. Support is evenly spread across all partisan groups – 44% of Republicans, 40% of Democrats and 38% of independents are in favor. Republicans (29%) and independents (30%) are slightly more likely than Democrats (22%) to oppose this move. Overall, public opinion of Biden’s action is slightly higher than prior polls of immigration proposals from the Speaker of the House in April (35% favor and 23% oppose) and a bipartisan group in the U.S. Senate in February (23% favor and 33% oppose).

Just under half (46%) say the president’s executive order is not tough enough when it comes to dealing with illegal immigration. Another 17% of Americans say this order is too tough and 31% say it is about right. Most Republicans say Biden’s action is not tough enough on illegal immigration regardless of whether they favor his move (73%) or oppose it (86%). Among independents who support the order, 52% say it is not tough enough, but among independents who oppose it, 55% say it is too tough. Among Democrats who support Biden’s move, 69% say it is about right, but 82% of Democrats who oppose the order say it is too tough.

“Biden will never be able to satisfy Republicans on border policy. The real question is whether he can neutralize this issue among independents without alienating certain Democrats. These initial public opinion results suggest he may have achieved some of that, but it’s not a clear political win by any stretch,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Opinion of Biden’s job performance as president is nominally lower than it was in April, but in statistical terms, it is in line with his ratings since last fall. Currently, 38% approve and 58% disapprove of the job Biden is doing. This is down slightly from two months ago (42% approve and 55% disapprove), but within the range of his ratings since September (which bottomed out at 34% approve and 61% disapprove in December).

Graph of Biden's job rating. Refer to question 1 for details.

Monmouth also asked Americans to give a retrospective rating of how former President Trump did when he was in office. Trump not only gets higher ratings – 47% approve and 50% disapprove – than the current president, but he gets a nominally better rating now than he did during most of his actual presidency. Trump’s best marks in Monmouth’s polling during his term came in March 2020 (46% approve and 48% disapprove) and just after he lost reelection to Biden in November 2020 (46% approve and 51% disapprove). Otherwise, Trump’s job approval rating tended to hover in the low-40s during his time as president.

Opinion of both the current and former president is predictably polarized among Republicans – 91% disapprove of the job Biden is doing and 87% approve of the job Trump did as president – and Democrats – 85% approve of Biden and 87% disapprove of Trump. Among independents, though, there is a huge gap between how they view Biden’s present performance – 29% approve and 66% disapprove – and how they remember Trump’s term in office – 44% approve and 53% disapprove. In November 2020, 38% of independents approved of Trump’s job performance while 57% disapproved.

“If reelection bids are a referendum of presidential job performance, 2024 presents a unique case with two officeholders on the ballot. And that is posing a problem for Biden. Independents who are unhappy with the current incumbent seem to have developed a view of the Trump presidency that is somewhat rosier than the opinion they held when he was actually in office,” said Murray. [Note: the Monmouth University Poll will be releasing a look at 2024 voter preferences on Thursday.]

In other poll results, Congress receives a job rating of 14% approve and 82% disapprove. Congressional approval has ranged between 14% and 23% since the current term commenced in 2023.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from June 6 to 10, 2024 with 1,106 adults in the United States.  The question results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points for the full sample. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS     

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

1.Do you approve or disapprove of the job Joe Biden is doing as president?

Trend:June
2024
April
2024
Feb.
2024
Dec.
2023
Sept.
2023
July
2023
May
2023
March
2023
Jan.
2023
Approve38%42%38%34%38%44%41%41%43%
Disapprove58%55%58%61%55%52%53%51%48%
(VOL) No opinion4%3%5%5%7%4%6%8%9%
 (n)(1,106)(808)(902)(803)(814)(910)(981)(805)(805)
Trend:
Continued
Dec.
2022
Oct.
2022
Sept.
2022
Aug.
2022
June
2022
May
2022
March
2022
Jan.
2022
Dec.
2021
Nov.
2021
Sept.
2021
July
2021
June
2021
April
2021
March
2021
Jan.
2021
Approve42%40%38%38%36%38%39%39%40%42%46%48%48%54%51%54%
Disapprove50%53%54%56%58%57%54%54%50%50%46%44%43%41%42%30%
(VOL) No opinion8%7%8%7%6%5%7%7%11%9%8%8%9%5%8%16%
 (n)(805)(808)(806)(808)(978)(807)(809)(794)(808)(811)(802)(804)(810)(800)(802)(809)

2.Looking back, do you approve or disapprove of the job Donald Trump did when he was president?

Trend:June
2024
Jan.
2021*
Approve47%41%
Disapprove50%56%
(VOL) No opinion3%3%
  (n)(1,106)(809)
* Poll conducted shortly after Trump left office.
During term:Nov.
2020
Early Sept.
2020
Aug.
2020
Late June
2020
Early June
2020
May
2020
April
2020
March
2020
Feb.
2020
Jan.
2020
Approve46%41%41%41%42%43%44%46%44%43%
Disapprove51%53%53%53%54%51%49%48%50%52%
(VOL) No opinion3%5%7%7%4%6%6%6%5%5%
  (n)(810)(867)(868)(867)(807)(808)(857)(851)(902)(903)
During term:
Continued
Dec.
2019
Nov.
2019
Sept.
2019
Aug.
2019
June
2019
May
2019
April
2019
March
2019
Jan.
2019
Approve43%43%41%40%41%40%40%44%41%
Disapprove50%51%53%53%50%52%54%51%54%
(VOL) No opinion8%6%6%7%9%8%6%5%5%
  (n)(903)(908)(1,161)(800)(751)(802)(801)(802)(805)
During term:
Continued
Nov.
2018
Aug.
2018
June
2018
April
2018
March
2018
Jan.
2018
Dec.
2017
Sept.
2017
Aug.
2017
July
2017
May
2017
March
2017
Approve43%43%43%41%39%42%32%40%41%39%39%43%
Disapprove49%50%46%50%54%50%56%49%49%52%53%46%
(VOL) No opinion8%7%11%9%8%8%12%11%10%9%8%11%
  (n)(802)(805)(806)(803)(803)(806)(806)(1,009)(805)(800)(1,002)(801)

3.Do you approve or disapprove of the job the U.S. Congress is doing?

Trend:June
2024
April
2024
Feb.
2024
Dec.
2023
Sept.
2023
July
2023
May
2023
March
2023
Jan.
2023
Approve14%14%14%17%17%22%18%23%19%
Disapprove82%79%79%77%74%68%72%68%67%
(VOL) No opinion4%7%7%6%9%10%9%10%14%
 (n)(1,106)(808)(902)(803)(814)(910)(981)(805)(805)
  Trend: ContinuedDec.
2022
Oct.
2022
Sept.
2022
Aug.
2022
June
2022
May
2022
March
2022
Jan.
2022
Dec.
2021
Nov.
2021
Sept.
2021
July
2021
June
2021
April
2021
March
2021
Jan.
2021
Approve26%23%23%17%15%15%21%19%23%18%22%23%21%35%30%35%
Disapprove62%69%66%74%78%77%71%74%66%70%65%62%65%56%59%51%
(VOL) No opinion12%8%11%9%7%8%8%6%11%12%13%15%15%9%11%14%
 (n)(805)(808)(806)(808)(978)(807)(809)(794)(808)(811)(802)(804)(810)(800)(802)(809)
  Trend: ContinuedNov.
2020
Early June
2020
May
2020
April
2020
Feb.
2020
Jan.
2020
Dec.
2019
Nov.
2019
Sept.
2019
Aug.
2019
June
2019
May
2019
April
2019
March
2019
Jan.
2019
Approve23%22%32%32%20%24%22%23%21%17%19%20%24%23%18%
Disapprove64%69%55%55%69%62%65%64%68%71%69%71%62%68%72%
(VOL) No opinion13%9%13%13%11%14%13%13%11%13%12%9%14%9%10%
 (n)(810)(807)(808)(857)(902)(903)(903)(908)(1,161)(800)(751)(802)(801)(802)(805)
  Trend:
Continued
Nov.
2018
Aug.
2018
June
2018
April
2018
March
2018
Jan.
2018
Dec.
2017
Sept.
2017
Aug.
2017
July
2017
May
2017
March
2017
Jan.
2017
Approve23%17%19%17%18%21%16%17%18%19%19%25%23%
Disapprove63%69%67%71%72%68%65%69%69%70%68%59%66%
(VOL) No opinion14%14%14%12%11%11%19%15%13%11%13%16%11%
 (n)(802)(805)(806)(803)(803)(806)(806)(1,009)(805)(800)(1,002)(801)(801)
  Trend: ContinuedSept.
2016*
Aug.
2016*
June
2016*
March
2016
Jan.
2016
Dec.
2015
Oct.
2015
Sept.
2015
Aug.
2015
July
2015
June
2015
April
2015
Jan.
2015
Dec.
2014
July
2013
  Trend: ContinuedSept.
2016*
Aug.
2016*
June
2016*
March
2016
Jan.
2016
Dec.
2015
Oct.
2015
Sept.
2015
Aug.
2015
July
2015
June
2015
April
2015
Jan.
2015
Dec.
2014
July
2013
Approve15%14%17%22%17%16%17%19%18%18%19%21%18%17%14%
Disapprove77%78%76%68%73%73%71%71%72%69%71%67%70%73%76%
(VOL) No opinion8%9%7%10%10%10%12%11%11%12%10%12%11%11%10%
 (n)(802)(803)(803)(1,008)(1,003)(1,006)(1,012)(1,009)(1,203)(1,001)(1,002)(1,005)(1,003)(1,008)(1,012)
      * Registered voters

[Q4-35 held for future release.]

36.President Biden recently signed an executive order to secure the U.S. border with Mexico by turning away migrants who seek asylum at the border. How much have you heard about this – a lot, a little, or nothing at all?

Comparison:June
2024
April
2024*
Feb.
2024**
A lot43%31%47%
A little39%40%38%
Nothing at all18%29%16%
(n)(1,106)(808)(902)
   * Asked about the House Speaker’s immigration bill.
** Asked about the bipartisan Senate immigration bill.

37.Based on your first impressions, do you favor or oppose this executive order on immigration, or do you have no opinion?

Comparison:June
2024
April
2024*
Feb.
2024**
Favor40%35%23%
Oppose27%23%33%
No opinion33%42%45%
(n)(1,106)(808)(902)
* Asked about the House Speaker’s immigration bill.
** Asked about the bipartisan Senate immigration bill.

38.Do you think this executive order is too tough, not tough enough, or about right when it comes to dealing with illegal immigration?

Comparison:June
2024
April
2024*
Feb.
2024**
Too tough17%18%12%
Not tough enough46%38%47%
About right31%22%28%
(VOL) Don’t know7%21%14%
(n)(1,106)(808)(902)
* Asked about the House Speaker’s immigration bill.
** Asked about the bipartisan Senate immigration bill.

METHODOLOGY

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from June 6 to 10, 2024 with a probability-based national random sample of 1,106 adults age 18 and older. Interviews were conducted in English, and included 262 live landline telephone interviews, 348 live cell phone interviews, and 496 online surveys via a cell phone text invitation. Telephone numbers were selected through a mix of random digit dialing and list-based sampling. Landline respondents were selected with a modified Troldahl-Carter youngest adult household screen. Interviewing services were provided by Braun Research, with sample obtained from Dynata (RDD, n= 756), Aristotle (list, n= 182) and a panel of prior Monmouth poll participants (n= 168). Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The full sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information (ACS 2022 one-year survey). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points adjusted for sample design effects (1.69). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

Demographics (weighted)

Party (self-reported): 28% Republican, 44% Independent, 28% Democrat

Sex: 49% male, 50% female, 1% other

Age: 29% 18-34, 33% 35-54, 38% 55+

Race: 61% White, 12% Black, 17% Hispanic, 10% Asian/other

Education: 37% high school or less, 30% some college, 18% 4 year degree, 15% graduate degree

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and crosstabs by key demographic groups.