While concern about Russia has increased and support for a U.S. military role in the conflict has grown over the past month, Biden's approval rating has not changed, according to a poll by The Associated Press -NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. A few are skeptical that he is capable of handling a crisis. The majority also think he lacks the ability to deal with Russia.
Only 43% Americans approve Biden, and the same percentage approve of Biden's handling of relations with Russia. These measures are very similar to an AP-NORC survey conducted just days before the February 24 invasion.
Along with NATO allies, the U.S. attempted to isolate Russia, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, with sanctions. This included freezing foreign assets at Russia's central banks and cutting off Russia's supply of essential war materiel. Despite a ground invasion, Russia continued to batter Ukrainian cities with artillery and air strikes.
According to Jake Sullivan (Biden's national security advisor), the Biden administration will work with European allies over the next three days to develop a common strategy to help Ukraine militarily, increase sanctions against Russia, and deal with the worsening humanitarian crises.
Biden's performance is not well received by the American public. About 25% are not confident that the president can handle a crisis, improve U.S. standing abroad, or manage the U.S. army effectively, but most have some confidence.
56% of Americans believe Biden hasn't been tough enough with Russia. 36% disagree.
Biden is under pressure from his party members to do more. According to the poll, 43% of Democrats feel that the president has not been tough enough. Even more, 53% say it's been "about correct."
"I understand that he's stuck between a rock & a hard place," Rachel Collins, a 41 year-old Democrat from Chicago, said. It just feels like Putin isn't going to stop at Ukraine.
Collins, an elementary school teacher said that she feels like watching history unfold yet again.
She added, "How many more years will we be able to watch this happen?" It just feels inevitable, and we are just watching these people suffer."
Although support for the U.S. in a major role has increased from 26% to 40% last month, Biden must balance the need to avoid war with the American people. Nearly half of Americans are concerned about Russia being drawn into war.
Biden repeatedly stated that he would not send American troops into Ukraine, even though some of them have been sent to NATO countries.
Collins stated that while he believes he is doing the right thing, he is cautious and prudent. However, it can be really difficult when you watch and read about these stories every day. "More aggressively at where we're at means putting troops on ground. I don't know if that's the right answer.
She added, "Then, you'll know, there will be people asking 'Why are we putting troops there?'"
Although Republicans are less likely to support the U.S. playing a major role during Russia's war than Democrats, many also believe that Biden's response was not tough enough.
David Stoddard (retired border agent in Sierra Vista Arizona) said that he was afraid. He is afraid of Putin. He is afraid of (China's), Xi (Jinping). He is afraid of everything.
Stoddard, who is 76 years old, said that he would rather have someone like former President Donald Trump than Biden tell Putin that Putin has a red button, but that the red button of the United States is larger.
Stoddard believes there is more Biden can do to support Ukraine militarily and strengthen sanctions. Stoddard suggests that Biden transfer Polish MiG fighter planes to Ukraine from a NATO base in Germany. This was something the Pentagon refused to do in March. According to the administration, it has stated that it will not take any further actions that could be interpreted as escalatory by Putin.
According to the poll, majorities of Republicans as well as Democrats voted in favor of economic sanctions against Russia and the ban on Russian oil. Only 12% of Republicans approve of the way Biden handles relations with Russia. 77% of Democrats agree.
Although some Democrats admitted that Biden could have done more, many Democrats believe he will do the right thing for America.
Chris Hollander, a Denver research assistant, said that "I'm certain there's more he could have done." "But he's not a pushover when it comes to being tough."
Hollander, 33 years old, stated that Biden's leadership "behind-the scenes" reflected his ability to listen to the intelligence community, and get NATO countries to cooperate. Hollander, 33, said that he seems to be threading a needle.