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What is the one thing Americans want President Biden to do in the next year? We asked them.

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 11/8/2021 Susan Page, USA TODAY
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What do Americans want President Joe Biden to do now?

We asked them.

In the new USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll, we asked 1,000 registered voters to name the single thing that was most important for Biden to do in the next year. His fiercest opponents had an unlikely suggestion – to move out of the office he won a year ago – but the responses of others illustrate the mix of priorities that the electorate has in mind for the commander in chief.

President Joe Biden speaks about the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the State Dinning Room of the White House, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Washington. © Alex Brandon, AP President Joe Biden speaks about the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the State Dinning Room of the White House, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Washington.

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While surveys typically offer respondents options to chose among, in this case they were asked to volunteer any answer they wished. 

USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll: Gloomy landscape for Democrats in midterms as Biden's approval drops to 38%

Here are the top 10 responses:


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  1. Resign/retire/quit - 20%
  2. Economy/jobs - 11%
  3. Unite/help the country - 8%
  4. Immigration/border control - 8%
  5. COVID/mandates - 6%
  6. Infrastructure bills - 5%
  7. Inflation - 4%
  8. Health care - 3%
  9. Climate change/environment - 3%
  10. Bipartisanship - 3%

Focus on the economy has grown as concern about the COVID-19 pandemic has eased. Those who mentioned jobs, inflation or taxes totaled 16%. Those who mentioned social programs – health care, education or the progressive agenda generally – totaled 7%. 

There was also a yearning for a more positive political landscape. Those who cited uniting the country or building bipartisanship totaled 10%.

Also notable were the issues that didn't rank. The topics mentioned by less than 2% of those surveyed included government spending and the deficit. Crime and the police. Foreign policy. 

And then there's this: 2% replied that Biden should do "everything" in the next year; 1% said he should do "nothing."

The survey, which was taken last Wednesday through Friday by landline and cell phone, also found that Republicans hold a clear advantage a year before the 2022 midterm elections.

If the midterm elections were today, respondents said they would vote for their Republican congressional candidate over the Democratic one by 46%-38%, an advantage that would bode well for GOP hopes of gaining a majority in the House and the Senate.

Meanwhile, Biden's approval rating skidded to a new low of 38%.

Among other findings: Biden's bipartisan infrastructure bill, which passed Friday, was backed by 2-1 while Americans were closely divided on the social spending bill the president and congressional Democrats are now pushing.

In the poll, 47% support the $1.85 trillion social spending bill known as the "Build Back Better" Act, which includes billions for climate initiatives, universal pre-K and the expansion of Medicaid coverage in some states.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What is the one thing Americans want President Biden to do in the next year? We asked them.

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