An equal number of Americans (67%) say they are just as concerned about classified documents found at President Joe Biden’s residence and former office as they are about those found at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, despite the clear differences in how the two men responded to these disputes.

Furthermore, half of Americans disapprove of the job President Biden is doing and give him low marks for uniting the country, as well as having the physical and mental health necessary to be president, even after a series of political and legislative victories. recent.

And most believe the new, Republican-controlled US House of Representatives will be too inflexible in dealing with Biden and spend too much time vetting the president instead of focusing on other priorities.

These are the main findings of a new national study NBC News poll made at the start of the new 118th Congress, ahead of Biden’s upcoming State of the Union address next month and after news broke of classified documents being found in the private homes of Biden and Trump.

The poll also underscores how little has changed since last November’s midterm elections, and how dissatisfied the public remains as the 2024 presidential election begins to take shape.

“The calendar may indicate 2023, but I would excuse anyone if you continue to see 2022 in the outlook for the country and in our politics,” said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Strategies. of opinion.

“Elections are supposed to act as an opportunity to refresh and reset, and that didn’t happen,” McInturff adds.

The survey finds an American public that is equally concerned by the discovery of classified documents found at the homes of Biden and Trump, despite the fact that the current and former presidents handled their situations in different ways.

(Biden and his lawyers have argued that they turned over these classified documents, from his time as Barack Obama’s vice president, as soon as they were discovered and cooperated with investigators, while Trump failed to turn over all requested documents and lashed out at investigators.)

Sixty-seven percent of Americans say it is concerning that classified documents have been found in Biden’s former office and personal home, including 33% who say it is «very» concerning; 18% say it’s not too worrying or worrying at all.

An equal 67% say it is concerning that classified information was found at Trump’s residence, with 36% saying it is «very» concerning and 20% saying they are not concerned.

Surprisingly, most Democrats (52%) say they are concerned about Biden’s classified documents, while most Republicans (53%) are concerned about Trump’s.

«None of the presidents get approval from their supporters,» said McInturff, the Republican pollster.

The NBC News poll was conducted from January 20 to 24, so mainly prior to the January 24 news, a small number of classified documents were found in the home of former Vice President Mike Pence.

Little change in Biden’s position and in the public’s bad mood

Despite a series of legislative victories, positive results Economic news and a better-than-expected midterm election, President Biden’s standing with the public remains essentially unchanged from November, the NBC News poll shows.

His overall job rating among all adults is 45% approve and 50% disapprove.

Among registered voters, 46% approve and 50% disapprove, essentially the same as the 44% who approve and 53% disapprove just before last November’s midterm elections.

Additionally, 36% of all adults approve of the President’s handling of the economy (up from 40% among registered voters in September 2022), and 41% approve of his handling of foreign policy (up from 42% among voters registered last September). ).

Perhaps most worrisome for Biden in the poll is his presidential attributes. He gets his highest marks for being calm and personable (45% of all adults give Biden a positive rating here) and for having enough knowledge and experience to run the presidency (42% give him a positive rating). .

But his lowest marks are being honest and trustworthy (34%), having the ability to handle a crisis (32%), being competent and effective as a president (31%), having the mental and physical health necessary to be president (28%). %) and uniting the country (23%).

Many of these scores have dropped significantly since Biden first took office, according to the survey.

“Since January 2021, Biden has lost 17 points on uniting the country, 15 points on his ability to handle a crisis, 13 points on having enough knowledge and experience to run the presidency, and 9 points on being honest and trustworthy. trust,» he said. Horwitt, the Democratic pollster.

What also stands out in the poll is the public’s continued bad temper: 71% believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction (essentially unchanged from the 72% who said this in November), and 64% say they your family’s income is falling behind. cost of living (63% said this in September 2022).

No honeymoon for the new GOP-controlled House

As for the new Republican-led House majority, 54% of adults in the NBC News poll say congressional Republicans will be too inflexible in dealing with President Biden, versus 28% who say they will. the right balance and another 10% who say they will give up too quickly.

That compares with 45% of all respondents who think Biden will be too hard on Republicans; 35% who say he will strike the right balance; and 11% who believe that he will give up too quickly.

Additionally, 55% of Americans say congressional Republicans will spend too much time investigating Biden and not enough on other priorities, while a combined 63% have little or no confidence that Congress will conduct a fair investigation. and impartial about Biden and his administration.

Just 27% of those surveyed have a favorable opinion of congressional Republicans, compared to 36% who have a favorable opinion of congressional Democrats and 39% who have a favorable opinion of Biden.

And when asked who they would rather see take the lead role in setting the country’s politics, 48% of Americans choose Biden, versus 45% who want congressional Republicans in charge.

What Congress Should Consider vs. What It Should Not Consider

Finally, the NBC News poll tested seven different policy ideas that the new Congress might consider.

Most Popular Ideas: Provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who meet certain requirements (80% say Congress should do this), take a tougher line against China (75% say Congress should act ) and address immigration by increasing border security (72%).

Least Popular: Making defense budget cuts (31% support) and passing laws placing additional restrictions on abortion (26%).

Americans are divided on providing more funds and weapons to Ukraine, with 49% believing Congress should do so, versus 47% saying it shouldn’t.

He NBC News poll it was conducted January 20-24 with 1,000 adults (823 contacted by cell phone) and has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.

The margin of error for the 810 registered voters surveyed by the poll is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.