Poll: Voters say Biden hasn’t been ‘tough enough’ on Russia and 85% fear US will be drawn into war
A majority of US voters believe President Joe Biden is not being tough enough on Russia over Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, a new poll found on Monday.
Just 36 percent of respondents from a new Associated Press/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research questionnaire said the president’s response to Putin was “about right.”
Fifty-six percent said Biden is “not tough enough” and six percent said he is “too tough” on Eastern European nuclear power.
A majority of Americans also seem concerned that the bloody and brutal conflict will spill over to the United States. Three quarters are at least somewhat concerned that Russia could attack the US with nuclear weapons.
Eighty-five percent of voters surveyed said they were very, very or somewhat concerned that the country would be drawn into a war with Russia. A majority, 47 percent, cited the greatest concern.
The number of people who are not at all concerned about a fight with Moscow is significantly lower at 15 percent.
The survey is released a day after Biden returned from a trip to Europe, where he attended an extraordinary summit of NATO leaders and a European Council meeting to discuss Putin’s attack.
Majority of people think Biden isn’t tough enough on Russia, new poll shows
The poll was released just two days after Biden said Putin “cannot stay in power” during an emotionally charged moment as he delivered a speech in Poland
The invasion of Moscow began just over a month ago on February 24. Since then, Russian troops have been bombing Ukrainian cities and accused of war crimes for their brutal slaughter of civilians.
The poll was conducted March 17-21 and began the same day Biden labeled Putin a “war criminal.”
During a speech in Warsaw on Saturday, he alarmed foreign policy experts when he declared that the Russian autocrat “cannot remain in power” after an emotional day of meeting Ukrainian refugees and aid workers who helped them.
As Biden completed his visit to Poland, a NATO country, Ukrainian officials accused Russia of launching several missiles at the western city of Lviv from Crimea, the area Moscow had annexed from Kiev in 2014.
Lviv is less than 250 miles from Warsaw and about 60 miles from the Polish border.
Amid concerns that Russia might soon use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, NATO’s deputy secretary general Mircea Geoana told the Associated Press that the defensive alliance is “ready to respond proportionately.”
But Monday’s investigation reveals an apparently growing concern that such weapons could also be used in the US.
Monday’s survey also revealed strong concerns about a direct conflict between the US and Russia, despite the Biden administration ruling out the possibility of a one-sided battle.
A majority of Americans are at least somewhat afraid of the possibility of Russia using its massive nuclear arsenal against the United States – more believe it will be used against Ukraine
A Ukrainian soldier walks in the village of Mala Rogan, east of Kharkiv, after Ukrainian forces recaptured the village on March 28
Forty-five percent of those polled said they were very or very concerned that Russia would use nuclear weapons against the US. Thirty percent are ‘somewhat concerned and only a quarter don’t see it as a likely threat.
As for turning nuclear power against Ukraine, a majority of 61 percent believe this is a high possibility, followed by 26 percent who say they are “somewhat concerned” about it.
Despite heightened concerns about a potential conflict, voters also appear to be united for a tougher response to Russia.
When asked what the “greater priority” for the Biden administration should be, 55 percent of people said it “should sanction Russia as effectively as possible, even if it hurts the US economy.”
Fewer voters, 42 percent, supported “limiting the damage to the US economy, even if it means sanctions against Russia are less effective.”
Russia’s invasion has already thrown the global energy supply chain into chaos, sending pump prices skyrocketing in the US and Europe.
Halyna Falko looks at the devastation wrought after a Russian attack at her home near Brovary, on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine on Monday, March 28
Despite their concerns about rising gas prices, a majority of Americans said they were willing to endure the financial pressures of tougher sanctions against Russia
It adds financial pressure to an already precarious position in the pockets of many Americans. According to the latest data from the Ministry of Labor, consumer prices rose 7.9 percent in February from the previous year.
Gasoline prices alone shot up 38 percent.
A whopping 88 percent of voters who responded to Monday’s poll said they were at least somewhat concerned about the impact of rising gas prices. Sixty-eight percent said they were very or very concerned.
However, it’s also one area where Biden is taking a break — 55 percent of voters think the higher prices at the pump are “more due to factors beyond Biden’s control.” Only 44 percent blamed the president’s policies.
It comes after an NBC News questionnaire published on Sunday saw respondents asked “how much confidence” they have in Biden’s ability to navigate Russia’s brutal attack.
The majority — 44 percent — said they have “very little” confidence in the president, while 27 percent have “just a little” confidence in him, for a combined 71 percent.
Just 28 percent of Americans surveyed said they share “a lot” or “a lot” of support for Biden’s approach to Ukraine — a far cry from the confidence the president has tried to instill through decades of foreign policy experience in the Senate .
It comes after an NBC News poll on Sunday showed that fewer Americans trust Biden to navigate the crisis in Eastern Europe than those who believe in him.
A large number of respondents to NBC’s poll also believe that the US will be at war with Russia within next year
And a majority of people seem to believe that Biden’s actions thus far have put the country on a path to direct conflict with Russia, despite the US-stated preferred policy of de-escalation through diplomacy.
Sixteen percent of Americans said they believe their country is already at war with Russia based on the way Biden and his officials have handled the crisis. A whopping 44 percent said the devastating conflict “will take place within the next year.”
Only 34 percent were confident that the US would not engage in a war with Moscow.
Biden himself has repeatedly insisted that US forces will not unilaterally confront Russia, even rejecting Ukraine’s request for a no-fly zone over its territory amid concerns over the outbreak of a larger war.
But 74 percent of respondents say they don’t take the president at his word about US boots in Ukraine.
More than eight in ten also said they fear such a conflict would lead to nuclear warfare, and 83 percent are concerned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will increase the cost of goods and services here at home, including gasoline.