NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll: Bounce for Biden Following State of the Union, March 2022

Biden Gets Approval Rating Boost Post-State of the Union... Majority Approve of His Handling of Ukraine... Overwhelming Support for Economic Sanctions on Russia

Following a State of the Union address which underscored President Joe Biden’s commitment to promoting democracy across the world, the president enjoys a bounce in his handling of the crisis in Ukraine. His standing among the American people has also improved on the issues of the economy and the coronavirus pandemic. While Biden’s bounce is predominantly among his Democratic base, he also enjoys moderate gains among independents. Of note, rare, bipartisan consensus exists on the issue of sanctions levied against Russia. Most Americans, regardless of party, support these sanctions, and nearly seven in ten favor them even if it means higher energy prices domestically.

Biden’s Handling of Ukrainian Crisis
Do you approve or disapprove of how President Biden is handling the situation with Russia and Ukraine?
Source: NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll National Adults. Interviews conducted March 1st through March 2nd, 2022. N=1,322 MOE ±3.8%. Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
  • A majority of Americans (52%) approve of how President Biden is handling the situation in Ukraine, up from 34% last week. 44% disapprove, down from 50% last time. Only 4% are unsure, down from 16%. A plurality of Americans (46%) says Biden’s approach to the conflict in Ukraine is on the mark. 43% say he is being too cautious, and only 6% think he is being too aggressive.

  • 83% of Americans support the economic sanctions imposed against Russia by the United States and its allies. Americans are also willing to make sacrifices in support of Ukraine. 69% of Americans, including 58% of Republicans, say they support economic sanctions against Russia even if it results in higher energy prices in the United States.

  • Americans express concern about the potential impact of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Nearly eight in ten Americans are concerned that Russia will wage cyberattacks in the United States (78%) and that a broader war will erupt in Europe (78%). Seven in ten (70%) worry that nuclear weapons will be used. Concern about the ramifications of the conflict in Ukraine cross party lines. Americans 45 or older (76%) are more likely than younger Americans (62%) to be concerned that nuclear weapons will be used.

  • President Biden’s overall job approval rating is up 8 points, 47% from 39%, last week. 50%, down from 55%, disapprove. 18% strongly approve of the job Biden is doing as president, and 38% strongly disapprove.

  • Biden’s approval rating on his handling of the coronavirus is on an upswing. 55% approve, and 43% disapprove. Americans divided (47% approve to 49% disapprove) in late February. While Biden’s approval rating on the economy remains upside down (45% approve to 53% disapprove), his standing has improved. 36% of Americans previously approved while 58% disapproved. 

President Joe Biden enjoys a bounce in his job approval ratings following his State of the Union address. A majority of Americans approve of Biden’s approach toward the conflict in Ukraine and overwhelmingly support the economic sanctions imposed against Russia. Many say they support these actions even if energy prices in the United States rise. On domestic issues, Biden’s approval rating on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic has rebounded, and the president receives an improved score on his handling of the economy. This translates into an eight-point boost in Biden’s overall job score.

"Biden's leadership on Ukraine has resonated over the last week with Americans. He has forged a consensus in the U.S. on his policy toward Ukraine. Americans are even willing to sacrifice higher energy prices in support of the Ukrainian people," says Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "His standing has also rebounded on COVID and the economy after the State of the Union address."

America’s Standing on the World Stage

45% of Americans think Biden’s decisions as president have strengthened the United States’ position on the world stage while a majority (51%) say he has weakened it.

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