Following a politically difficult few months for President Biden, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll reveals that he is witnessing a big increase in his support ratings across the board as a result of his State of the Union address and Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion Research, which conducted the poll, described the result as “an extraordinary bounce.” This brings him back to his pre-Afghanistan state of affairs.
To illustrate, consider some of the statistics.
- The overall acceptance rating increased to 47 percent, an increase of 8 points from the previous month’s NPR poll. Presidents rarely see much, if any, positive reaction to their State of the Union address.
According to the pollsters, there have only been six occasions since 1978 when a president’s approval rating increased by four points or more following his or her State of the Union address. Three of those bounces belonged to former President Bill Clinton’s campaign.
- Ukraine’s handling has improved by 18 percentage points to 52 percent.
- Coronavirus pandemic response is now at 55%, an increase of 8 percentage points.
- The proportion of economic handling has increased by 8 percentage points to 45 percent.
Live callers from mobile phones and landlines took part in the national poll of 1,322 adults, which was conducted on March 1 and 2 in the wake of the State of the Union address.
The results were weighted to reflect the demographics of the country, as revealed by the 2019 American Community Survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau.
It has a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points, which means that the findings could be nearly 4 percentage points lower or higher than expected.
The shift is the result of a spike in support among Democrats and independents. For example, when it comes to Ukraine, the Democrats’ favor of Biden has increased by 27 points. With independents, the score increased by 17 points.
In the aftermath of the Ukrainian flag demonstration, Biden appeared to be benefiting from the situation.
A whopping 83 percent of those who took part in the survey indicated they supported the economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and its allies. This includes eight out of ten Republicans.
- A majority of respondents (69 percent) stated that they would continue to support the sanctions even if it meant higher energy bills for consumers. This includes four out of every five Democrats, three-quarters of independents, and nearly six out of ten Republicans.
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American consumers, who are already feeling the strain from increased prices due to inflation, would most likely experience higher gas prices as a result of the Russian invasion and the resulting sanctions, according to Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden, on the other hand, continues to confront difficulties. For example, while his approval rating on the economy has improved, a majority (53 percent) still disapproves of the way he is managing the situation, and a slim majority (51 percent) believes that his foreign policy actions have generally harmed America’s status on the international arena.
Americans are also concerned about the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine for a variety of reasons:
- Approximately 4 out of 5 respondents expressed extreme fear or concern about cyberattacks on the United States and the possibility that the conflict may escalate into a wider war in Europe.
- Seven out of ten people are concerned about the use of nuclear weapons. Older Americans, defined as those 45 and older who grew up during the Cold War, were 14 percentage points more likely to express this concern.
- Americans are divided on whether Biden’s approach has been about right (46 percent) or has been overly cautious (44 percent) (43 percent ). Only 6 percent of those polled believe he has been overly aggressive. In general, though, the State of the Union address looks to have benefited Biden’s campaign.
- During that speech, Biden attempted to find a compromise between his core supporters, with whom he has been having difficulties of late, and independents, a critical constituency with which he has experienced a considerable decrease in support over the previous several months.
In Miringoff’s opinion, “there is a delicate line,” but “the main conclusion is that Democrats returned home, and the nation — on the whole battle in Ukraine — people are behind him,” she said.