From January 28th to December 31st, we used a Realtime Research survey to canvas Americans about what they want President Biden to focus on in his first 100 days, whether or not they support executive orders to solve major policy issues, and what they think is the best way to solve major policy issues. We also collected demographic data on respondents such as political alignment, age, gender, race, and income. Over the four day survey period, we received 5,257 responses from 1,180 respondents from all over the country.
Invisibly Realtime Research surveys differ from traditional online surveys in that the questions are shown to the user on web pages in place of an ad (Figure 1). Unlike Google Surveys, which block access to content until the questions are answered, Realtime Research surveys are optional, thus ensuring that participants are responding voluntarily.
Figure 1. An example of the 300×250 Realtime Research survey unit. Questions are shown to the user on webpages in place of an ad.
The majority of Americans feel that if Biden had to pick one issue to focus on in his first 100 days, he should focus on the Coronavirus Pandemic. 68% of respondents said the most important issue for Biden to solve is the pandemic while with the next highest scoring issue being climate change with 13% of respondents wanting Biden to focus his attention there (Figure 2A). In fact, the majority of all political parties – Democrats, Independents, and Republicans – feel that it is the most important issue (Figure 2B).
Figure 2. Americans think that pandemic is the main area President Biden should focus on in his first 100 days. A. Results from our Realtime Research™ surveys suggest that the majority of Americans feel that the pandemic is the single most important issue for Biden to focus on B. The majority of respondents, both Democrat and Republican, think the pandemic is the most important policy area for Biden to focus on in his first 100 days.
The majority of respondents also responded that they support executive orders to solve major policy issues (Figure 3A). However, most respondents also said they were strong Democrats or lean Democratic, far more than Republican respondents (Figure 3B).
Figure 3. Americans’ opinions on executive orders to enact policy change. A. Results from our Realtime Research™ surveys suggest that 75% of respondents support executive orders to enact policy change. B. Majority of the respondents identify politically as Democrats.
The majority of respondents said that they feel the best way to resolve major policy issues is to have a mixture of executive actions and legislation by both chambers of Congress (Figure 4A). However, when looked at more granularly, we found that Democrats support that mixed solution far more than Republicans. Only 50% of people who lean Republican favor a mixed solution of executive orders and congressional legislation, while the rest support solely one or the other to resolve major policy issues (Figure 4B). Only 42% of those who identify as strong Republicans support the mixed approach, while the majority favor solely executive orders or congressional legislation to solve major policy issues (Figure 4B).
Figure 4. Americans’ preference for how policy issues should be resolved in government. A. The majority of respondents prefer a mix of executive orders and legislation approved by Congress. B. The majority of Democrats and Independents prefer a mix of executive orders and legislation passed by congress (depending on the issue), while Republicans are less likely to prefer a mix.
We show that Americans overwhelmingly agree that the pandemic is the most important issue for Biden to focus his attention on during his first 100 days in office. This agreement holds true across all political parties. Most respondents claim to support executive actions to enact policy change. However, this might be influenced by the majority of the respondents identifying as Democrats.
While most respondents claim to prefer a mixture of executive orders and congressional legislation to solve policy issues, when looked at closely, Democrats are more likely to prefer that mixture than Republicans.
Dr. Don Vaughn is a neuroscientist, futurist, and communicator. As Head of Product at Invisibly, he is envisioning a better future by enabling people to take control of their personal data. He leverages his understanding of the brain to predict how people will use—and be used by—technology. Since graduating from Stanford, over 1 million people have viewed his TEDx talk. He has been featured on ABC, ESPN, Bloomberg and more.