Most Americans think Biden hasn't been 'tough enough' on Russia: poll

Most Americans polled do not have faith in Biden to effectively handle a crisis, even in his own party.
Joe Biden, White House, Jan. 19, 2022
Joe Biden, 2022
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Just over one-quarter of Americans have confidence that President Joe Biden can effectively handle a crisis, and the majority say he needs to be tougher on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, according to a Thursday poll Thursday The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

President Biden's approval rating, which the AP-NORC poll places at 43%, has remained underwater since August, during the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. 

Most Americans (56%) say that Biden is not being tough enough in his response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, while only 6% say he is being too tough and 36% say his response is "about right," according to the poll of with 1,082 adults between March 17 and 21, 2022.

When broken down along party lines, however, the responses change dramatically. Sixty-eight percent of Republicans and 64% of independents think that Biden is not tough enough, compared to 43% of Democrats. Only one in five Republicans and one in four independents think that Biden's response is "about right" compared to the majority of Democrats polled (53%).

Overall, the public is very supportive of the sanctions on Russia so far, as 68% of Americans polled said they approve of the economic sanctions in general and 70% said they approve of Biden's ban on Russian oil imports.

However, most Americans do not have faith in Biden to effectively handle a crisis, even in his own party.

Twenty-six percent of all Americans believe that he can effectively handle a crisis. Only 2% of Republicans and 13% of independents have confidence in Biden's ability to deal with a critical situation, compared to 49% of Democrats in the AP-NORC poll. The exact same percent of Americans also believe Biden can "effectively manage the military," though among Republicans, the number rises slightly to 4%.

Biden's approval rating may be even lower than the AP-NORC poll showed.

According to FiveThirtyEight, a poll analysis website that averages many different presidential approval surveys, Biden's approval rating stands at 41.6%.