Nearly two out of every three Americans say they are optimistic about the direction the country is headed over the next year, according to a new survey taken after President Biden finished his first 100 days in office.
The poll by ABC News/Ipsos found that public opinion was sharply divided along party lines with Democrats more likely to be optimistic while Republicans reported being pessimistic about the nation’s short-term future.
In the survey taken between April 30 and May 1, 64 percent said they were optimistic about the direction of the country over the next 12 months.
Just over one-third – or 36 percent – described themselves as pessimistic.
The survey of 513 adults also found that a majority of Americans – 52 percent – believe that at the moment it is more important to have ‘the federal government spend money to help the economy, even if it increases taxes.’
Slightly less than half of those surveyed – 47 percent – believe that tax rates should stay the same, ‘even if it means not spending money to help the economy.’
Opinion on taxes also depends on party affiliation.
Nearly four in five Republicans – 78 percent – want to keep taxes at the same rate while 80 percent of Democrats think it’s more important for the government to spend money.
In March, Biden signed into law a COVID-19 relief package totaling $1.9trillion.
It included stimulus checks, unemployment assistance, aid to local governments and states, nutrition assistance, and tax credits.
Biden and the Democrats are now proposing a massive infrastructure spending bill that could cost upwards of $2.3 trillion.
The ABC News/Ipsos poll also shows that Biden is perceived among a majority of Americans as willing to compromise with Republicans while the GOP is viewed as not doing enough to meet the president halfway.
According to the poll, 51 percent of Americans said Biden is doing ‘the right amount’ to compromise with the opposition party.
Nearly two in five – 39 percent – say the president is doing too little to reach across the aisle.
When asked about Republican willingness to compromise with the president, 22 percent say the GOP is doing ‘the right amount’ while two-thirds – or 67 percent – say the party is doing ‘too little.’
Last week, polling by Reuters/Ipsos found that more than half of Americans approve of Biden, a level of support that his Republican predecessor Donald Trump never achieved and one that should help Democrats push for infrastructure spending and other big-ticket items on Biden’s agenda.