“The person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity. And that person will be the first Black women ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court.” [President Biden commenting on the retirement of Justice Steven Breyer]
For the first time in history, the person who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee when a Supreme Court justice was nominated and confirmed is the same person who is president when that justice retired and will, therefore, name his replacement.
Joe Biden chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee when Steven Breyer was confirmed, and he is now the President who will name Breyer’s successor. [Punch Bowl News AM 1/27/22]
45% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters want to see Biden renominated in 2024 while 51% want the Democratic party to find another presidential candidate.
Republicans are similarly divided about former President Trump, with 50% wanting to see him renominated and 49% want a different candidate. [Axios Sneak Peak 2/13/22]
The following are a few positive statistical measures of the President’s term to date.
- The number of people without health insurance went down by about 500,000 according to a government survey.
- The number of people receiving food stamp benefits declined by about 905,000 or 2.2% after steep increases during the height of the pandemic.
- The U.S. image abroad has recovered. In 12 nations, many of which are key U.S. allies and partners, a median of 62% of foreigners said they held a positive view of the U.S., up from a median of 34% in Trump’s final year.
(The following is based on registered voters unless indicated otherwise.)
*A note about the CNN survey that is referenced in the material that follows.
CNN has recently changed its polling method. Surveys were obtained January 10 – February 6, 2022. U.S. households were randomly selected to participate and were first contacted via mail. Adults aged 18 and older completed the survey either online (n=1,353) or by phone (n=174). The margin of sampling error for total respondents is +/- 3.3 at the 95% confidence level. More information about SSRS can be obtained by visiting www.ssrs.com. [WW asked an expert pollster for her opinion of this polling method. Her response was quite positive.]
57% of Americans consider the first year of the Biden administration to be a failure, while 41% of Americans consider the first year to be a success.
32% feel the government represents people like themselves while 68% disagree.
46% approve of the way in which Biden is protecting democracy in America while 52% disapprove.
58% disapprove of the way Biden is helping the middle class, while 41% approve.
In almost every area of inquiry, women tend to be more positive about the President and his administration. [CNN 2/6/22]
On a couple of major issues facing the country, Biden’s approval rating has tanked.
On a couple of other issues Biden’s effort receives negative marks.
|Relationship between US and Russia||37||50|
55% disapprove of the way in which Biden is handling the U.S. relationship with China. [CNN 2/6/22]
Compared to what you expected when Biden took office, has he done:
|Better than expected||5%|
|Worse than expected||36%|
|Just about as expected||59%|
On a series of qualities often ascribed to a president, Biden’s rating has dropped in each during his first year in office.
|January 2021||January 2022|
|Being knowledgeable and experienced enough to handle the presidency||39||28|
|Being a good commander in chief||30||21|
|Having the ability to handle a crisis||29||14|
|Uniting the country||22||9|
As of February 16, 2022, the following is Biden’s approval rating based on Real Clear Politics:
|On the economy||38.0%||57.6%||2/15/22|
|On foreign policy||37.5%||53.7%||2/5/22|
Gallup now does monthly or semi-monthly surveys of all adults. WW will include a periodic polling summary–Registered and Likely Voters–by FiveThirtyEight.
|Gallup (All Adults)||FiveThirtyEight (Reg/Likely|
The following shows Biden’s approval rating throughout his first year.
Some of the changes between April 2021 to January 2022:
|April 2021||January 2022|
|Backers of Sanders or Warren in 2020 Dem Primaries||88%||74%|
|Whites with college degrees||57%||47%|
[NBC News polling]
Jeff Horwitt, of Hart Research Associates (Hart Research produces the NBC Poll in partnership with Public Opinion Strategies), said, “A year into his presidency, Joe Biden’s standing with the American people is diminished, and he is a smaller figure than he was when he entered the White House.”
Additionally, 39% of Americans have positive feelings toward Vice President Harris while 48% have negative feelings toward her. [NBC 1/18/22]
Judges Nominated and Confirmed to Date
As of February 14, 2022, the United States Senate has confirmed 46 federal judges nominated by President Biden. 14 judges for the United States Courts of Appeals and 32 judges for the United States District Courts.
There are currently 4 vacancies on the U.S. Courts of Appeals, 72 vacancies on the U.S. District Courts, and 2 vacancies in the United States Court of International Trade.
The chart below reflects the number of Article III court judges appointed by every U.S. president since Jimmy Carter.
|Total||Supreme Ct||Appeals Ct||District Ct||Int’l Trade|
|Biden – 1 year +||46||0||14||32|
|Trump – 4 years||234||3||54||174||3|
|Obama – 8 years||325||2||55||268|
|GW Bush – 8 years||325||2||62||261|
|Clinton – 8 years||373||2||66||305|
|GHW Bush – 4 years||192||2||42||148|
|Reagan – 8 years||376||3||83||290|
|Carter – 4 years||259||0||56||203|
[USCourts/Wikipedia/List of federal judges appointed by Joe Biden]
An unprecedented number of Biden’s judges have experience as public defenders. 14 of Biden’s first year judges have some experience as a public defender, roughly a third of those appointed. Of the 302 judges appointed by President Obama only 42 (14%) had some experience as a public defender.
Of the 231 judges appointed by President Trump only 4 had experience as public defenders. [CNN News Alert 2/1/22]
Favorable ratings of the Supreme Court have declined sharply in the past year.
Increasingly larger shares of adults view the Supreme Court as conservative:
|August 2020||January 2022|
|Middle of the Road||56%||48%|
As of January 2022, a decreasing number of Republican/Lean Rep think the Supreme Court has too much power while an increasing number of Democrat/Lean Dem think the Court has too much power.
|August 2020||January 2022|
[Pew Research 2/2/22]
There are roughly 4,000 politically appointed positions in the executive branch and independent agencies, including more than 1,200 that require Senate confirmation.
The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service are tracking 800 of those 1200 positions.
- 284 have been confirmed by the Senate.
- 183 nominees are being considered by the Senate.
- 5 picks are awaiting formal nomination.
- 136 positions have no Biden nominee.
- 190 appointees are serving in termed positions or were held over from previous administrations.
Compared to nominees confirmed by this date by recent presidents, Biden is in 3rd place; Bush – 403, Obama 383, Biden 284, Trump 238. [2/17/22]
The following are the favorability ratings for a variety of political leaders based on the Real Clear Politics averages for 2/8/22.