Americans don’t think Biden is being tough enough on Russia

While there is strong support for the U.S. sanctions against Russia, most say President Biden has not been tough enough in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

March 24, 2022

There is widespread public support for sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, including a ban on importing Russian oil.  However, President Biden has yet to see praise for his efforts to isolate Russia and aid Ukraine.  Fifty-six percent of Americans think Biden’s response has not been tough enough.

With the crisis in Ukraine escalating, few Americans have a high degree of confidence in Joe Biden’s ability to effectively handle a crisis, effectively manage the military, or promote the standing of the United States in the world.

Fifty-six percent of Americans feel that Biden’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not been tough enough. Few believe his response has been too tough and only 36% say his response has been about right. Assessments of his response are split on party lines with 53% of Democrats saying his response is about right while most Republicans and independents believe it has not been tough enough

The public is largely supportive of the sanctions the United States imposed on Russia. 

Few have overwhelming confidence in Joe Biden’s ability to manage his presidency. Confidence in his ability to manage the military dropped to 26% from 35% in January 2021. Americans’ confidence in his ability to listen to his advisers and experts declined even further to 32%, down from 47% in January 2021.

Like most assessments of presidential performance, opinion is highly polarized. Fewer than 1 in 10 Republicans express a great deal of confidence in Biden’s ability to handle any of these aspects of his presidency.

With ratings similar to last month, more Americans disapprove than approve of Biden’s overall performance. His ratings are also underwater when it comes to his handling of the U.S. relationship with Russia and overall foreign policy. Nearly two-thirds continue to be displeased with Biden’s handling of the economy. Fifty-three percent approve of Biden’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which is the only category he holds a positive rating. Democrats remain mostly positive in their appraisal of Biden, while Republicans and independents remain negative.

The public continues to be pessimistic about the direction of the country. Thirty-one percent of Americans say things in the country are going in the right direction and 68% think the country is heading in the wrong direction. A majority of Democrats (55%) believe that the country is headed in the right direction while a majority or republicans (93%) and independents (80%) believe it is heading in the wrong direction.

The nationwide poll was conducted March 17-21, 2022 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,082 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.0 percentage points.

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