Biden approval rating climbs on managing COVID, Ukraine

U.S.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol House Chamber on March 1, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Saul Loeb, Pool/Getty Images)

(The Hill) – President Biden is seeing a boost to his approval rating following his first State of the Union address this week, with a poll released Friday showing him at 47 percent.

The latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll found that 47 percent of Americans surveyed approve of the job he is doing as president, which is a jump from the 39 percent approval rating he had in the same poll last month. 

“This is an unusual bounce,” Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, said in a statement. “It gets him back to where he was pre-Afghanistan.”

The last time Biden had a higher approval rating was in August 2021, when it hit 49 percent. While presidents can sometimes get a bounce after a State of the Union, one of more than four points in an NPR poll has happened only six times since 1978.

The poll also found Biden’s approval rating is on the upswing on issues such as Ukraine and COVID-19. Fifty-five percent of Americans approve of how he is handling the coronavirus pandemic, up from 47 percent in February.

Fifty-two percent approve of how he is handling the situation with Russia and Ukraine, up from 34 percent in February when tensions were simmering but Russia had not yet launched its invasion.

An overwhelming majority of Americans surveyed — 83 percent — also supported the United States’ and other allies’ economic sanctions against Russia.

“Biden’s leadership on Ukraine has resonated over the last week with Americans. He has forged a consensus in the U.S. on his policy toward Ukraine. Americans are even willing to sacrifice higher energy prices in support of the Ukrainian people,” Miringoff said.

The newest polling is likely welcome news for the president after months of low approval ratings and midterm elections on the horizon.

The president has had to juggle a number of issues since he took office last year, including the administration’s chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan, the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukraine-Russia conflict, inflation and supply chain issues, and infighting among members of his party that has stymied several Democratic priorities. 

The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll was conducted between March 1 and March 2 with 1,322 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. Among the 1,322 adults surveyed, there were 1,237 registered voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points. 

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