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Keller @ Large: New Poll Shows President Biden's Job Approval Rating Slipping Over COVID Concerns

BOSTON (CBS) -- From the resurgent coronavirus to pitched battles over social infrastructure spending and investigating the January 6 insurrection, it's been a turbulent summer in Washington D.C. to say the least.

The last time the respected Quinnipiac poll took a look at President Biden's job approval back in late May, 49% approved of how he was handling his job and 41% disapproved. But in their latest national survey of 1,290 adults (taken July 27-August 2, margin of error 2.7%), Quinnipiac found Biden's approval has slipped a bit, just outside the margin of error to a 46% to 43% spread.

Looking at the cross tabs, it's a mirror image of last fall's election, the usual partisan divide and a huge gender gap with women far more approving than men of Biden's work.

And it appears the main cause of that dip may be the dramatic drop in the public's view of Biden's pandemic management, with approval plummeting from 65% in May to just 53% approval now. Disapproval went up one point to 40%, driven by a 20-point drop in approval among Republicans, a 13-point decline among men, and an 11-point dip among women and independents.

It looks like the springtime optimism surrounding the vaccine rollout and declining infection rates has been replaced by friction over vaccine resistance and concern over rising cases.

There's better news for Biden on his push for new infrastructure spending.

It's no big surprise that there's strong 65% support for the so-called "hard" infrastructure bill. Even 41% of Republicans back that one. But the controversial "soft" or "social infrastructure" bill is also playing well, with support outweighing opposition by a huge 62% to 32% margin.

Only 27% of Republicans back that one, but the difference is made up by strong backing from women, young people, and minorities.

And what about the House committee probe of the January 6 Capitol riot? That is supported by a solid 63% majority of adults. The only demographic group that doesn't offer majority support for that is Republicans, only 29% of them back it.

In a way, this poll shows us how little has changed since last year. The country is deeply split, by gender, race, education and party. The holy grail of polling questions, on satisfaction with the overall direction of country, shows little movement: 62% said they were dissatisfied in May, and that number hasn't budged.

But while there may be satisfaction for Biden and the Democrats in the still-majority support for his pandemic oversight and strong backing for key policies, complacency of any kind would be ill-advised. Asked who they want to see win control of the House, respondents offered up a virtual dead heat, 45% Democrats, 42% Republicans.

In May, the Democrats' margin was nine points.

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