People don’t seem to be rallying behind Joe Biden’s leadership as he meets with allies in Brussels to plan a stronger response to Russia’s month-long attack on Ukraine. A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that concern about Russia has risen and support for a major U.S. role in the conflict has risen in the last month. But Joe Biden’s negative approval rating hasn’t changed, the poll found. Few people are very sure that he can handle a crisis, and most think he doesn’t have the strength to deal with Russia.
Only 43% of Americans like Biden, and the same number like how he handled the relationship with Russia. In both cases, they aren’t very different from an AP-NORC poll that was done a few days before the attack on February 24. The U.S. and other NATO allies have tried to keep Russia and Vladimir Putin from getting together by putting sanctions on them. These sanctions include freezing the foreign assets of Russia’s central bank and cutting off its supply of important war material. But Russia has been bombarding cities in Ukraine with airstrikes and artillery for a month now, even though the ground invasion has been slowed down. Three days from now, the administration wants to work with key European allies to come up with a plan to help Ukraine, raise sanctions on Russia and deal with an even worse humanitarian crisis, Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser says.
American people aren’t sure about Biden. Only about a quarter of people are very sure that the president can handle a crisis, make the U.S. more popular around the world, or run the U.S. military well. Most people have some faith in the president, though. Most people think Vice President Joe Biden hasn’t been tough enough on Russia, but 36 percent think he’s done a good job of it.
Even in his own party, Biden is being told to do more. Democrats are split on how the president has responded, with 43% saying he hasn’t been tough enough. A little more, 53%, say it’s been “about right.” “I understand he’s between a rock and a hard place,” said Rachel Collins, a 41-year-old Democrat from Chicago. “It just feels like Putin’s not going to stop at Ukraine.” Collin, an elementary school teacher, said that she feels like she’s watching history unfold for the second time in her life.
“How many years are we going to watch this happen and then have to do something anyway?” Because it’s so likely, “we are just watching these people go through so much pain.” Since last month, support for a major U.S. role has risen from 26% to 40%. Biden has to walk a tightrope to avoid war and keep the U.S. people safe. Americans are very or very worried about getting into a war with Russia, according to a poll that shows about half of them are worried about it. Biden has said many times that he will not send American troops to Ukraine, even though some have been sent to NATO countries near Ukraine.
“I think he’s doing the right thing and being careful, but it’s hard when you see and read about these stories every day.” It means putting troops on the ground, and I don’t know if that is the answer, either. “Then, you know, there’ll be people saying ‘why are we putting troops in there,’” she added. When it comes to Russia’s war, Republicans are less likely than Democrats to want the U.S. to play a big role in it. Most also say that Vice President Joe Biden hasn’t been tough enough.
Former border patrol agent David Stoddard says that he’s afraid of what might happen to him. “He’s afraid of Putin.” He’s afraid of Xi from China (Jinping). “Everything scares him.” It would be better for someone like Trump to tell Putin that “Putin may have a red button, but the United States’ red button is bigger,” Stoddard said. Stoddard thinks Vice President Biden could do more to help Ukraine militarily and strengthen sanctions, like transferring Polish MiG fighter jets to Ukraine from a NATO airbase in Germany, which the Pentagon refused to do earlier this month. Stoddard thinks Biden should do more to help Ukraine. People in the government say that they don’t want to do more things that could be seen as escalating by Putin.
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Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats said they agreed with the economic sanctions against Russia in general and with the ban on Russian oil in particular, according to a poll. But 77 percent of Democrats think Biden is doing a good job of handling the relationship with Russia. Only 12 percent of Republicans think the same thing. While some Democrats said that Biden could be doing more, many people believe that he will do what’s best for the country. A researcher in Denver, Chris Hollander, said: “I’m sure there’s more that he could do.” In terms of being tough, he’s not a pushover.
In order for Biden to be a leader “behind the scenes,” he needs to pay attention to the intelligence community and make NATO countries work together. Hollander, who is 33, said that. “I think he’s putting a needle through it.” When the AP and NORC did their poll of 1,082 adults, they used NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is meant to be representative of the US population. 4.0 percentage points is the margin of sampling error for everyone who took part in the study.