Russian-Ukrainian war fails to fuel Biden’s rebound: AP-NORC poll | Government and politics

By HANNAH FINGERHUT – Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Joe Biden meets with key allies in Brussels to coordinate a stronger response to Russia’s month-long assault on Ukraine, a new poll shows Americans are not standing still. still rallied to his leadership.

Concern for Russia has swelled and support for a major US role in the conflict has grown over the past month, but Biden’s negative approval rating has not budged, according to Thursday’s poll of Associated Press-NORC Public Affairs Research Center. Few are convinced he can handle a crisis, and a majority think he lacks tenacity in the face of Russia.

Only 43% of Americans approve of Biden and a similar percentage approve of his handling of relations with Russia. The two measurements are little different from an AP-NORC poll taken a few days before the February 24 invasion.

The United States, together with its NATO allies, tried to isolate Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin with sanctionsincluding freezing of foreign assets from Russia’s central bank and cutting off its supply of essential war material. But Russia continued for a month to beaten cities in Ukraine with airstrikes and artillery, despite a stalled ground invasion.

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Over the next three days, the Biden administration aims to work with key European allies on a united strategy to assist Ukraine militarily, increase sanctions on Russia and address the worsening humanitarian crisis, according to Jake Sullivan , Biden’s national security adviser.

Biden is doing it on shaky ground with the American public. Only about a quarter are very confident that the president has the ability to manage a crisis, promote the United States’ position in the world or effectively manage the US military, although most have at least some confidence.

Fifty-six percent of Americans think Biden hasn’t been tough enough on Russia, while 36% say his approach has been “about right.”

Even among members of his own party, Biden faces pressure to do more. The poll shows Democrats are narrowly divided on the president’s response, with 43% saying he wasn’t tough enough. Slightly more, 53%, say it is “about right”.

“I understand he’s between a rock and a hard place,” said Rachel Collins, a 41-year-old Democrat from Chicago. “I have the impression that Putin is not going to stop at Ukraine.”

Collins, an elementary school teacher, said she felt like she was watching history unfold again.

“How many years are we going to watch this happen and then have to intervene anyway?” she added. “It seems inevitable and in the meantime we watch all these people suffer.”

As support for a major US role has risen since last month from 26% to 40%, Biden faces a tightrope walk to avoid war and limit the impact on the American people . The poll shows nearly half of Americans are “extremely” or “very” worried about being drawn into a war with Russia.

Biden has repeatedly said he will not send US troops to Ukraine, although some have been deployed to neighboring NATO countries.

“I think he’s doing the right thing and being careful, but it’s really hard when you watch and read these day-to-day stories,” Collins said. “More aggressive where we are means putting troops on the ground, and I don’t necessarily know if that’s the answer either.”

“Then, you know, there will be people saying ‘why are we putting troops in this,'” she added.

While Republicans are less likely than Democrats to support a major US role in Russia’s war, most also say they think Biden’s response was not tough enough.

“He’s scared,” said David Stoddard, a retired Border Patrol agent in Sierra Vista, Arizona. “He is afraid of Putin. He is afraid of Xi (Jinping) (of China). He is afraid of everything.”

Stoddard, 76, would rather someone like former President Donald Trump than Biden tell Putin “that Putin may have a red button but the red button in the United States is bigger,” he said. -he declares.

Stoddard thinks Biden could do more to bolster sanctions and support Ukraine militarily, including transferring Polish MiG fighter jets to Ukraine from a NATO airbase in Germany, which the Pentagon has refused to do. earlier in March. The administration said it was determined to avoid any further action that could be seen as an escalation by Putin.

Majorities of Republicans and Democrats said they approve of the economic sanctions imposed on Russia in general and the ban on Russian oil in particular, according to the poll. But while 77% of Democrats approve of Biden’s handling of relations with Russia, only 12% of Republicans do.

While some Democrats have acknowledged thinking Biden could do more, many trust him to do what’s best for the country.

“I’m sure he could do more,” said Denver research assistant Chris Hollander. “But when it comes to being tough, it’s no pushover.”

Listening to the intelligence community and getting NATO countries to work together reflects Biden’s “behind the scenes” leadership, said Hollander, 33. “I think he’s threading a needle.”

The AP-NORC poll of 1,082 adults was conducted March 17-21 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.0 percentage points.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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