New Polls Show Unity on Ukraine, Support Rising for Joe Biden
Author: Greg Valliere
March 7, 2022
JOE BIDEN’S JOB APPROVAL RATING has climbed by several points following a State of the Union address that moved the president closer to the center on issues like funding the police and rejecting huge new spending programs.
THE TWO GAME-CHANGERS have been last Friday’s sizzling jobs report, and a surge of support for Biden’s handling of the horrifying Ukrainian war, which has pushed Covid, urban crime, inflation, etc. off the front pages.
REMARKABLY, A MAJORITY OF AMERICANS say they’re willing to pay higher gasoline prices in exchange for tougher Biden policies — banning U.S. purchases of Russian oil and imposing a no fly zone. Judging from the huge spike in oil prices overnight, that public resolve will be tested soon.
NOT ONLY IS THE PUBLIC RALLYING BEHIND tougher sanctions, but the usually dysfunctional Congress is in general agreement that the U.S. should cut off Russian oil purchases. A long-stalled anti-Russia bill is likely to pass soon, banning Russian oil. Biden has been lukewarm, but will go along.
THE PUBLIC IS OUTRAGED at Vladimir Putin, and Biden probably will have to do more. He has some political capital now, with a 10% bump in his job rating among independents, and a 90% approval rating among Democrats, a significant move from the mid-70s during the winter.
WHILE THE DEMOCRATS ARE UNITED, the Republicans are not. Party leaders cringed when Donald Trump declared that Putin’s invasion was “genius,” and Sen. Lindsey Graham won bipartisan condemnation after he publicly called for Putin’s assassination (although, in private, many politicians agree).
IT’S WAY TOO PREMATURE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE REPUBLICANS will stumble this fall, so we’ll stick with our theme that the Democrats’ House losses will be relatively modest — perhaps 15 or 20 seats, not the 30 to 35 that some GOP strategists are expecting. They need a net pickup of five seats to recapture the House, which seems likely — but not certain.
A WEEK IS A LIFETIME in politics, so Biden’s move toward the center could fizzle, inflation could stay red-hot, and the war in Ukraine could drag on for several bloody weeks. But the Republicans — especially Trump — don’t seem to have their act together on Ukraine, while Biden has managed to unify all of NATO over sanctions that will drive the Russian economy into an imminent Depression.
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