Why Biden Can’t Look Away From the Israeli-Palestinian Crisis
The escalating conflict comes at a moment of inflection for the United States’ approach to Israel and the Palestinians.
The United States deployed a top diplomat to Israel on Wednesday, in hopes of calming hostilities that have broken out between Israelis and Palestinians.
After throngs of Palestinian demonstrators took to the streets of East Jerusalem in recent days to protest Israeli settlements and the evictions of Palestinians there, particularly in the heavily Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, a crackdown by security forces gave way to escalating violence. Hamas militants have launched rockets into Israel, and the Israeli military has carried out a series of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. On Wednesday, it assassinated a number of Hamas commanders and hinted at moves toward a possible invasion of Gaza.
No recent U.S. president has been able to avoid confronting the tensions between Palestinians and Israelis — but President Biden has shown little interest in getting deeply involved. Wednesday’s decision to send in the U.S. envoy, Hady Amr, reflects the urgency of a difficult situation more than any burning desire by the administration to play peacekeeper.
Still, the conflict comes at a moment of inflection — not only in Israeli politics, where Benjamin Netanyahu’s future as prime minister is in doubt — but also in terms of the United States’ approach to Israel. While the staunchly conservative Mr. Netanyahu closely aligned himself with President Donald J. Trump over the past four years, Democratic leaders in Washington have increasingly shown a willingness to criticize some elements of the Israeli government’s approach, particularly its support for settlements in Palestinian neighborhoods and territories.
Announcing Mr. Amr’s deployment, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken emphasized Israel’s right to continue “defending itself” but also its “extra burden” to prevent civilian deaths, mentioning that Israeli strikes had killed Palestinian children.
For an expert perspective, I turned to to Mark Perry, a senior analyst at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think tank that advocates military restraint. He has traveled to Israel and the Palestinian territories dozens of times, and is the author of 10 books, including “A Fire in Zion: Inside the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process” and “Talking to Terrorists: Why America Must Engage with its Enemies.” Our interview has been edited and condensed.
Hi, Mark. The violence we’re seeing right now follows the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, moves that have led to Palestinian protests and an Israeli crackdown. Can you speak specifically to the significance of what’s going on in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood?
What’s happening in Sheikh Jarrah has been happening for a long time. It’s always been very much up in the air who owns the territory: If you go to the Palestinians, they’ll often show you deeds to the land, and some of those date back to Ottoman times, but they’re not necessarily accepted in Israeli courts. So it’s really been a contentious issue, particularly as Israelis have expanded their settlement activity in the West Bank.
But the demolitions and evictions have been going on long before the events in Sheikh Jarrah. They have been a constant since 1967, when the Israelis took over the West Bank.
How much have Netanyahu’s policies increased the trend?
He’s gotten his support from settler groups; that’s probably his primary base of support. He’s appealed to them by saying he will defend their claims to the land, which are based on the fact that Jewish people have had a presence in the area for 2,000 years. He believes that the ancient claims to the land are binding.
President Trump announced in 2017 that he would recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, a move that was seen as essentially condoning the Israeli government’s push into Palestinian-held land. What was the effect of this on the grappling between Israelis and Palestinians there, and more broadly in terms of geopolitics?
We have to put this in context. There was no love lost between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama, and Obama was seen in many Israeli neighborhoods, especially the Orthodox neighborhoods in Jerusalem, as being pro-Arab.
It was an easy alliance between Trump and Netanyahu. It wasn’t a direct swap — “You support me and I will give you annexation of East Jerusalem” — but it was nearly that. Netanyahu always praised Trump, and Trump gave Netanyahu what he wanted, which was Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem.
OK. But why did Trump stand to benefit from Netanyahu’s praise?
It used to be in Washington that support for Israel was bipartisan. Both parties supported Israel almost unconditionally. And the Jewish-American vote was primarily Democratic. But Israel shifted that position in the 1990s and early 2000s. I distinctly remember Israeli leaders coming here and kind of recruiting the evangelical Christian community — and that community is Republican.
Now, Israeli leaders will say that the reason they did that is that their support in the Democratic Party was eroding. And particularly among Jewish Americans, there was growing disaffection with Israeli policies.
And that’s had an effect on the Democratic Party. It is now possible for stalwart supporters of Israel to question Israeli policies and principles. So the change in the political calculus among Israel’s leaders has resulted in a change in the political calculus among Democrats and Republicans, and the parties’ leadership. And this has incredible implications for a guy like Joe Biden.
Let’s talk about Biden. Since taking office he’s been rather quiet on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Is he trying to draw back the United States’ involvement or otherwise make a change to the American status quo, or would he like to keep things about the way they are?
Biden’s been a longtime supporter of Israel. He tells a story about going to breakfast with his mother when he was a little boy, and his mother saying, “Joey, we always support Israel.” But he’s stopped telling the story. I think the Israeli-Palestinian issue just sucked up so much air in previous Democratic administrations that he’s really hesitant to allow that to happen again. We’ve got other equities in the Middle East other than Israel.
And I think there’s a certain amount of exhaustion among Middle East diplomats with the conflict. It’s intransigent. We’re not going to be the ones to solve it. If Israel isn’t ready to negotiate, and the Palestinians aren’t ready to negotiate and solve their problems, how are we going to possibly succeed?
So what’s Biden’s option? One option is to do what no other U.S. president has ever done, and that is to issue a statement like the one he issued on Saudi Arabia: “We support you, but our support is not unconditional. We expect that Israel will take steps to ensure the rights of the people they occupy.”
He would have support among a large number of Jewish Americans. Remember the battle over the Israeli-Palestinian issue on the Democratic plank? That was a sign of what’s coming. There were Democrats who supported Israel who saw the logic in saying that America’s support is conditioned on Israel’s support for human rights. And that Palestinians have a right to land and their freedom. If he would do that, the change that that could bring about could be unprecedented.
Isn’t there some fear among diplomats that anything short of unconditional support for Israel would upend U.S. interests in the region, given that Israel is such a major ally?
It’s significant to note that America’s pivot to Asia has not left a vacuum in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are now conducting back-channel diplomacy with Iran. If Israel was to suddenly realize that America will no longer support them in every instance, they might make the moves that they have needed to make the last 70 years, and actually engage in diplomacy with their neighbors to a degree that they haven’t.
What about the argument that other nations in the region have their daggers behind their backs, and are just waiting for their chance to wipe out Israel?
Pushing back on Israel, and signaling to them that our support is conditional, is not an invitation to Egypt and Jordan to attack Israel. Were they to do so, they’d be defeated in 24 hours. We’d come to Israel’s support.
The fact that our support is conditional doesn’t mean they’re not an ally. Our support for allies has always been conditional. We made it clear to the British in World War II that we were their allies and we would support them, and that we’d even float money to support their economy, but that we were in charge of the relationship. We’re not in charge of the relationship with Israel, and we need to be. They’re in charge, and they’ve been in charge because they’ve always been able to count on bipartisan support in Congress. That is now changing.
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Is the American Work Ethic Dying?
Only by taxing the rich can Johnson become more than a plutocratic populist | Timothy Garton Ash
‘Britain Trump’ is riding high, thanks in part to a divided opposition. But unless his deeds match his words, it may not last
Last modified on Wed 12 May 2021 12.35 EDT
What is the difference between former US president Donald Trump and current British prime minister Boris Johnson? Both men are skilful practitioners of plutocratic populism, but “Britain Trump”, as the president himself called his British ally, might yet prove the more successful.
Trump was a super-spreader of this Anglo-Saxon variant of populism. He promised to help the poor but actually helped the rich. His actions were inseparable from the interests of his own businesses, party donors and a wider oligarchy. True, the US economy did well until the Covid pandemic hit, but there was no substantial economic or social “levelling up”. And then many, especially poorer, Americans died as a result of his culpable mishandling of the pandemic. Trump did not “deliver”, in the way that verb is generally used by commentators, and yet more than 70 million Americans still voted for him at the last election.
Why? Because we use the word “delivery” too narrowly. Support for populism is a cultural as much as an economic phenomenon. Trump did deliver culturally and, so to speak, psychologically. He gave Americans who had felt ignored and disrespected the feeling that he was on their side, and even “one of them” – the blue-collar millionaire taking up the white man’s burden. The emotional politics of identity trumped the rational politics of social and economic interest. He appealed to the 90% while in practice promoting the interests of the 1%.
Trump was only denied a second term because of the unity of a single-party opposition behind Joe Biden, whose “hardscrabble from Scranton” life story and down-home style also appealed to a part of Trump’s electorate. President Biden now has four years to prove that actually giving people decent healthcare, education, social security and job prospects will prevail over the very real emotional power of nationalist, populist narratives. He has made a magnificent start. If he can get enough of his current $6tn (£4.2tn) proposals for post-Covid recovery, infrastructure and welfare spending through Congress, there will be echoes of Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal.
Although Biden comes from a part of the Democratic party that itself became too close to financial interests, he has recognised that the rich must do more to pay for this transformation. That applies especially to the super-rich, who have done disproportionately well out of four decades of financialised globalisation: the share of private wealth held by the top 0.1% in the US tripled from 7% in the late 1970s to about 20% in 2019. Hence his pathbreaking proposal that capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as income.
The British government was rumoured to be contemplating a similar capital gains tax hike in the last budget, but nothing happened. After its recent electoral victories, the Johnson government faces the choice of continuing with plutocratic populism or going beyond it. The scandal around the luxurious refurbishment of Johnson’s flat in Downing Street, the extraordinary access enjoyed by Brexit-supporting billionaire James Dyson and the now collapsed Greensill Capital, and the planning permission row surrounding the communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, all speak of a Trump-like intertwining of government, party and plutocratic interests.
At the same time, Johnson has delivered psychologically and culturally to a significant swathe of England in much the same way that Trump did in the US, although with a better sense of humour. Brexit may have happened, but the identity politics of Brexit remain a potent force.
To be fair, in stark contrast to Trump, the Johnson government has also delivered an impressive vaccine rollout, which is one of the biggest explanations of its success in the local elections last week and a key byelection in the former Labour stronghold of Hartlepool. Meanwhile, the negative economic consequences of Brexit have been driven off the front page by the pandemic, and can be rhetorically concealed behind the impact of Covid.
“Is he lucky?” The question Napoleon is supposed to have asked about one of his generals can be answered in Johnson’s case with “so far, yes”. Whereas Biden’s personal skills as a great conciliator and the United States’ seemingly unshakeable two-party system provided an united opposition to defeat Trump, Johnson has the good fortune to face a trebly divided opposition. Keir Starmer has so far failed to do with Labour what Biden managed with the Democrats – bringing together left and centre, young, university-educated urban cosmopolitans and more traditional working-class voters.
The left-liberal side of politics in England is anyway divided between Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens. And then, in the increasingly disunited United Kingdom, it is also divided geographically between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. True, in the recent elections the incumbent Labour administration in Wales also benefited from the “vaccine bounce”; but a far greater cost to Labour is the electoral success of the SNP in Scotland, from where many Labour MPs have been traditionally returned to Westminster.
At the local level, Conservative politicians like Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen, are delivering real investments to previously neglected parts of the country that voted for Brexit. In public policy, as in private life, Johnson seems quite happy to spend as if there is no tomorrow. Yet at some point the bills have to be paid, for investment in neglected northern towns as for Lulu Lytle golden wallpaper in his Downing Street flat. If you add what is needed for nationwide “levelling up” to the already huge costs for sustaining the economy through the Covid emergency, plus future bills for the NHS, ambitious green targets, lifelong education and all the other good things just promised in the Queen’s speech, then it is crystal clear that you need more tax revenues to spend on this scale. Regressive taxation, hitting the poor more than the rich, is the opposite of “levelling up”. So the question then becomes: are you prepared to take on the plutocratic interests with which you are so closely linked in order to pay for it? That is what Trump ducked, but Biden is taking on.
So how about that capital gains tax hike in the next budget? Or a wealth tax, which Martin Sandbu of the Financial Times intriguingly suggests is fairer than a capital gains tax. Or a land tax. As Labour’s new shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, argued a few years ago, “the hardest way to make money in this country is to go to work; the easiest way is to own capital, particularly housing”.
If the Conservatives don’t go beyond the confidence trick of plutocratic pluralism, there is just a chance that an electoral alliance of Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens and – if Scotland does not vote for independence in a coming referendum – Scottish nationalists could find a narrow, Bidenesque path to electoral victory in 2023 or 2024. If, however, the Conservatives do go beyond it, adding economic substance to cultural appeal, then political change may be hard to achieve before the second half of the 2020s.
Timothy Garton Ash is a Guardian columnist
House, Biden Administration Reach Deal Over McGahn Testimony
A terse announcement signaled a possible end to a long-running constitutional lawsuit. But former President Donald J. Trump is not a party to the arrangement.
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration and House Democrats have reached a tentative deal to allow President Donald J. Trump’s former White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, to testify before Congress about Mr. Trump’s efforts to obstruct the Russia inquiry, according to a court filing late Tuesday.
The deal appears likely to avert a definitive court precedent that would draw a clear line in ambiguous areas: the scope and limits of Congress’s constitutional power to compel testimony for its oversight responsibilities, and a president’s constitutional power to keep secret conversations with a White House lawyer.
An appeals court had been set to hear arguments on the case next week, but lawyers for the Justice Department, which has been defending Mr. McGahn since 2019 against a House subpoena seeking to compel his testimony, and for the House of Representatives asked the court in a joint letter to drop that plan as mooted by the deal.
“The Committee on the Judiciary and the executive branch have reached an agreement in principle on an accommodation and anticipate filing, as soon as possible, a joint motion asking the court to remove this case from the May 19, 2021, oral argument calendar in order to allow the parties to implement the accommodation,” the letter said.
What to do about the subpoena case, which President Biden inherited from the Trump administration, has been a rare locus of institutional disagreement among Democrats in the two branches.
Lawyers in the Biden White House have been hesitant about establishing a precedent that Republicans might someday use to force them to testify about their own internal matters. House Democrats under Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been determined to push forward after frustration that the Trump administration’s uncompromising approach and litigation strategy ran out the clock, preventing any testimony by Mr. McGahn before the 2020 presidential election.
The two sides had been negotiating for several months, leading to delays in the appeals court case. The filing was terse and offered no details about the deal, including what limits, if any, there would be — like whether Mr. McGahn would testify in public and the scope of what lawmakers could ask him to disclose.
But the filing also flagged a potential wild card: “Former President Trump, who is not a party to this case, is not a party to the agreement in principle regarding an accommodation,” it said.
That absence leaves open the question of whether Mr. Trump could try to intervene to block Mr. McGahn from testifying by asserting executive privilege. An attempt to invoke it by Mr. Trump would raise novel questions about the extent to which a former president may assert the privilege when the incumbent president declines to do so.
Should Mr. Trump try to intervene, a rare but limited precedent is a 1977 case, Nixon v. Administrator of General Services, in which the Supreme Court ruled that Richard M. Nixon could assert executive privilege claims over official records from his White House even though he was no longer the president — but it also weighed that assertion against the contrary view of Jimmy Carter, the president at the time.
That dispute, however, centered on control of Nixon-era White House documents, not a subpoena for a former White House lawyer’s testimony.
The present dispute centers on the House Judiciary Committee’s desire to question Mr. McGahn about matters related to his role as a key witness in the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, about efforts by Mr. Trump to obstruct the Russia investigation.
After the Justice Department made most of the report public, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Mr. McGahn to testify. After he refused to appear, on Mr. Trump’s instructions, the committee sued.
The case has gone through several rounds of convoluted legal fights over constitutional issues that have lacked definitive precedents because previous disputes had generally been resolved with a negotiated compromise, averting a need for a court ruling.
But the lawsuit over the McGahn subpoena is one of an unprecedented number of cases pitting the two branches against each other in court that arose after Democrats took the House in the 2018 midterm elections and Mr. Trump vowed to stonewall “all” subpoenas.
First, the Justice Department under Mr. Trump had argued that Mr. McGahn was “absolutely immune” from any compelled appearance before Congress to testify about his work duties. Last year, the full District of Columbia Circuit rejected that theory.
The Justice Department then continued to fight the subpoena on other legal grounds, arguing that Congress had no “cause of action” that authorized it to sue the executive branch. (The executive branch has taken that position under administrations of both parties, and the Biden administration had signaled that it was prepared to keep arguing it.)
The apparent resolution of the McGahn subpoena case — unless Mr. Trump disrupts it — is similar to a dispute in 2009, when President Barack Obama took office and inherited a House lawsuit over a subpoena for testimony by President George W. Bush’s former White House counsel Harriet Miers related to the firings of United States attorneys.
The Obama administration, a lawyer for the House and a legal representative of Mr. Bush worked out a deal under which Democrats were able to confidentially interview Ms. Miers about the topic, with limits. That accommodation mooted the case, so the District of Columbia Circuit never issued a binding ruling, leaving the legal questions it raised unresolved.
Detentions at Southwest Border Reach 20-Year High
U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained 178,622 people along the border with Mexico in April, the highest number of apprehensions in at least two decades.
About 63 percent of those who were detained trying to enter across the southwestern border were expelled from the United States, the agency said in a news release. The number of minors who were taken into custody dropped 12 percent to 13,962 from March, according to the agency.
The number of immigrants detained at the southwestern border has risen for 12 straight months, according to Customs and Border Protection data. President Biden promised a more humane approach to immigration than did President Donald J. Trump, giving some immigrants, many of whom are fleeing dire economic conditions in Mexico and Central America, hope that they might be able to enter the United States more easily.
While Mr. Biden promised to unwind some of Mr. Trump’s policies, he has urged immigrants to stay home and has given Customs and Border Protection agents more authority to send detained immigrants back under protocols in place to combat the coronavirus.
The latest data release comes after a significant rise in migrant children turned up at the U.S. border this year, raising questions about Mr. Biden’s immigration policies.
Britain's Elections Offer Tea Leaves for the U.S.
Mandatory voter ID would dangerously undermine UK democracy | Jess Garland
The best electoral systems are the most inclusive. This government plan will lock out many legitimate voters
Last modified on Tue 11 May 2021 10.43 EDT
Last week millions of voters across Britain went to the ballot box in a bumper set of elections. But government plans to restrict access to the ballot box could mean that Thursday’s elections will have been among the last of their kind to be fair and free in the UK.
Proposals to introduce mandatory voter ID, as unveiled in today’s Queen’s speech, are a dangerous attack on our democratic rights that could lead to millions of legitimate voters being locked out of the polling station on election day. It is estimated that implementing the proposals could cost up to £20m per election, a hefty price tag for an unnecessary policy, and an expensive distraction from the real issues that affect our democracy and our country more widely.
On the face of it, requiring voters to show ID at polling stations may seem like a sensible policy. A necessary step, even, to ensure that those casting a vote have the right to do so. But while the government claims the potential for fraud is there, the evidence it exists is hard to find.
Widespread voter fraud at the ballot box would be easy to see. We’d find hundreds of people turning up to vote on polling day to find a ballot had already been cast in their name – yet few such claims exist.
Of the 595 alleged cases of electoral fraud investigated by the police in 2019 only 33 related to voter impersonation at a polling station – that is just 0.000057% of the over 58m votes cast in all the elections that took place that year.
Quite apart from the absence of any widespread voter impersonation, there are clear problems with forcing people to produce ID before they vote. According to official figures, 3.5 million people do not have access to photo ID in the UK and 11 million don’t have a passport or a driving licence. Unlike most countries where ID is required to vote, the UK has no free or low-cost ID option. In fact, in many of the countries used by the government as examples of successful voter-ID schemes, an ID is actually mandatory already, meaning everyone automatically has what they need to cast a ballot.
Many of the groups who are likely to be affected are already among society’s most marginalised. Earlier this year, three leading US civil rights groups criticised the UK government’s plans, highlighting how ID laws disproportionally affect people from poorer and marginalised communities.
It’s no wonder that opposition to voter ID has brought together a wide coalition, from homeless charities, groups representing elderly people and LGBT+ campaigners, to democracy organisations such as the Electoral Reform Society; each concerned that these proposals could shut out millions of legitimate voters from the ballot box.
Even senior conservatives are opposed to the proposals, with former Brexit secretary David Davis describing the plans as an “illiberal solution in pursuit of a nonexistent problem” and urging the government to drop its “pointless proposals”.
And Davis is right: this policy is a solution in search of a problem. Voting is safe and secure in the UK – the government has said so itself.
In March the Cabinet Office published a joint statement from the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments which declared “the United Kingdom is world-renowned for running elections of the highest standards in which voters can have full confidence.” A far cry from the Cabinet Office’s recent support for the proposals that they claim “combat the inexcusable potential for voter fraud in our current system.”
While the need for mandatory voter ID remains difficult to prove with genuine evidence, its potential pitfalls are far-reaching. Requiring photo ID introduces a new complexity to the voting process. Much like how the government’s coronavirus restrictions forced shopkeepers and hospitality staff to police mask-wearing and monitor group sizes, so too will these laws place polling staff’s judgment between voters and the ballot box.
These proposals would mean poll workers being forced to decide who gets a vote and who doesn’t. It could see many turning away legitimate voters from casting their ballots because their face shape has changed too much since their passport photo, or their new beard makes it hard to tell if it is in fact the same person as their driving licence shows.
It would place a huge burden on already strained electoral administrators to enforce these new laws and could result in lengthy delays and US-style lines outside polling stations as people are forced to queue for hours to cast their ballot – providing of course they have the right kind of ID.
Now it may still seem strange for a democracy organisation to oppose a policy such as this. But protecting voter access to the ballot box is vital in protecting our democracy too. More inclusive systems have better electoral integrity, and if the government wants to properly address the threats to our politics it must look beyond the ballot box.
The truth is that our democracy is under threat, but not from people wearing fancy dress or cunning disguises at the ballot box.
There remain dozens of loopholes in our electoral laws – loopholes that make our elections and voters themselves vulnerable to corporate donations, dark ads and disinformation, and the laws that govern our elections are woefully out of date. When it comes to electoral fraud, it is far more often campaigners and parties behind the breaches than the voters themselves.
It is disappointing that this Queen’s speech misses the opportunity to pledge real action on the glaring inadequacies of our electoral law, instead going after ordinary voters through their misguided mandatory voter ID plans.
Instead of suppressing the rights of ordinary voters, the government should focus on combating the real threats to our democratic system and bring forward proposals to ensure the integrity of our elections that we can all get behind.
Dr Jess Garland is director of policy and research, Electoral Reform Society
Biden Has 63 Percent Approval Rating, AP Poll Finds
President Biden enjoys widespread job approval, as Americans’ optimism about the future continues to climb, according to a poll released Monday by The Associated Press and NORC.
Sixty-three percent of Americans said they approved of the work Biden was doing as president, while just 36 percent disapproved. That spread of 27 percentage points represents the widest approval margin in an A.P./NORC poll since Mr. Biden took office.
The president continued to receive broadly positive marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with seven in 10 respondents expressing approval. His approach to health care policy got a thumbs-up from 62 percent of Americans, and 54 percent approved of his work on foreign policy.
Fifty-seven percent of Americans said they approved of the job he was doing on the economy, while just 42 percent disapproved — although the poll was conducted from April 29 to May 3, before the administration released a disappointing April jobs report showing that the country was missing its targets on employment.
With migrants continuing to arrive at the southern border in high numbers, the poll found that just 43 percent of Americans approved of Mr. Biden’s handling of immigration. Fifty-four percent disapproved.
But for the first time in A.P./NORC polling going back four years, a majority of Americans said that the country was headed in the right direction — possibly driven in part by the decline in coronavirus cases nationwide.
Fifty-four percent of respondents said things were going right in the country, while 44 percent said things were on the wrong track. That shift is being fed by a rise in optimism among political independents: Nearly half of them said that things were moving in the right direction, according to the poll.
Since January, the A.P./NORC poll has consistently found at least six in 10 Americans approving of the president’s job performance, putting it on the more Biden-friendly end of the polling spectrum. (NORC polls are conducted using its probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, with most respondents completing the survey online and a small number contacted by phone.) But polling averages consistently show Mr. Biden’s approval rating over 50 percent.
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