'I'm still exhaling': Swing-state voters on Biden's 100 days

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Chris Alexander poses for a picture outside his Wauwatosa, Wis., home April 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

ELM GROVE, Wis. – Standing on the sidelines of her son's soccer practice in this upscale suburb, Laura Hahn looked skyward for answers when asked how she would rate President Joe Biden's first 100 days in office.

Overall, Biden is doing well, she said after a few minutes of thought. But she acknowledged her judgment is as much a feeling of relief as an analysis of accomplishments.

“I’m still exhaling,” Hahn said, referencing the tumultuous tenure of President Donald Trump. “It’s been exhausting.”

At the 100-day marker, polls show most Americans are like Hahn, giving the new president positive marks for his early performance.

But in this pocket of swing-state Wisconsin, where a surge in suburban Milwaukee helped put Biden in the White House, interviews with voters show that support for the Democratic president often falls short of adulation. Biden continues to get credit for bringing stability to the coronavirus crisis — and for not being Trump — but there are signs that goodwill only goes so far.

As voters here start to look past the pandemic, some worry about Biden’s tax proposals to pay for massive spending plans and their impact on the economy. Some Democrats are disappointed Biden has not yet taken action on social priorities such as a policing overhaul. There are scant signs that Republicans were won over; several accused Biden of using a public health crisis to push a liberal agenda.

Despite these concerns, many voters said they were just enjoying the reprieve from the jaw-dropping headlines of the Trump era, now that Biden is in the White House.

“I’m not surprised or shocked by anything he’s done," said Jana Elkadri, a 40-year-old chief financial officer for a nonprofit group, as she watched the soccer practice from the parking lot.