CBS News poll: Public sees Biden cooperating with documents investigation
Slightly more Americans think the Biden administration is handling the classified documents investigation well than badly, with most saying President Biden has tried to cooperate with it.
The situation is not impacting Mr. Biden's broader ratings. His job approval rating remains unchanged in recent weeks. And he's still about as well-liked personally by a majority, compared to a year ago.
Context matters too, as big numbers of people think it might even be commonplace for former high-ranking officials to have classified materials at home. More than eight in 10 suspect this generally happens at least "sometimes" or even "a lot."
(Whether it's correct or not, this view, of course, comes after news developments about Mr. Biden's situation, as well as reports about materials found at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence last year and now also at the home of former Vice President Mike Pence.)
Mr. Biden's overall approval is unchanged.
Speaking of former presidents, rank-and-file Republicans are voicing a tough judgment on fairness now, as they compare situations between Mr. Biden and Trump — feeling that the president has gotten fairer treatment than Trump received. (And they also feel Trump has cooperated.)
The public overwhelmingly thinks a Justice Department investigation is warranted for Mr. Biden's document situation, as they have long felt about one for Trump's. Both investigations register bipartisan support, and so would one for Pence's situation. (Any difference among the three is really that the Republican majority backing one for Pence is larger than the one for Trump.)
But Americans see a difference in how each executive has handled their respective situation. While that majority think Mr. Biden is trying to cooperate with the Department of Justice, an equally large majority believe Donald Trump has not.
Biden's administration maintains especially strong backing from their own party on handling this, despite some criticism from Democratic party leaders. Most people report the situation hasn't changed their minds about him, including those Democrats who have long backed him, and Republicans who never have.
Views of the overall economy remain low amid a mixed set of economic news of late. There had been some uptick earlier this year. But any momentum has stalled for now. Views of Mr. Biden's handling of the economy, in particular, have not changed.
This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,005 U.S. adult residents interviewed between January 25-27, 2023. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as the 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ±3.0 points.
Anthony Salvanto, Ph.D., is CBS News' director of elections and surveys. He oversees all polling across the nation, states and congressional races, and heads the CBS News Decision Desk that estimates outcomes on election nights. He is the author of "Where Did You Get This Number: A Pollster's Guide to Making Sense of the World," from Simon & Schuster (a division of ViacomCBS), and appears regularly across all CBS News platforms. His scholarly research and writings cover topics on polling methodology, voting behavior, and sampling techniques.