President Joe Biden's overall approval rating is in the low 40s, but Americans are even more sour on his handling of foreign affairs (just 40% approve), particularly on his handling of Russia's threat to Ukraine (36% approve), according to the latest Gallup Poll released Tuesday.
The Gallup poll found Biden's approval ratings underwater on all major issues, the worst being the handling of the Russia-Ukraine standoff:
- Situation with Russia: 36% approve, 55% disapprove.
- Economy: 37% approve, 62% disapprove.
- Foreign affairs: 40% approve, 56% disapprove.
- Coronavirus response: 47% approve, 52% disapprove.
- Overall job: 41% approve, 55% disapprove.
Notably, Republicans and even those who have supported Biden have noted the administration's plan to impose sanctions after a Russian invasion of Ukraine have proved to be a failure.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, has sanctioned Russia for its aggression post-Olympics, while Biden's first sanctions were on the Donbass territories that claimed independence from Ukraine under support from Russia's Vladimir Putin — and not Putin or Russia themselves.
Putin is sending "peace keeping" forces into the so-called Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic regions of Ukraine, which Biden is moving to sanction, but critics note sanctioning those regions will have little effect on trade or economics for Ukraine, Russia, or the U.S.
Biden's numbers have steadily declined since August, when the oft-criticized Afghanistan withdrawal was in its final, deadly stages.
"Biden's overall job approval has shown no meaningful improvement since last fall when it declined after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan," Gallup noted in its analysis. "High inflation and the continuing coronavirus pandemic are likely two factors keeping Biden's approval rating down.
"The trends in approval of Biden's handling of specific issues follow the same trajectory as the trend in his overall approval rating. The issue approval ratings were above the majority level early in his presidency, showed a significant drop in the summer of 2021, and dropped further in the fall."
Inflation has hit a four-decade high at 7.5%, while the average cost of gasoline has reached $3.53, up from $2.58 a year ago, according to AAA data.
"Since the honeymoon phase of his presidency, Biden has seen his support drop among all political groups," Gallup's bottom line conclusion read. "His ratings among Republicans cannot go much lower, so further declines in his approval rating depend on whether Democrats' and independents' evaluations of him worsen."
On Biden's handling of Russia, only Democrats approve:
- Democrats 64% approve.
- Independents 35% approve.
- Republicans 11% approve.
"Biden's ability to navigate the current conflict with Russia, take steps to combat inflation, and preside over a now-improving COVID-19 situation will be key factors in determining whether he can regain support among Democrats and independents and improve his overall job rating," Gallup concluded.
Gallup polled 1,008 U.S. adults Feb. 1-17 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
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