President Joe Biden’s approval rating has fallen to the lowest levels of his presidency over concern for his handling of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and rising inflation, an NBC poll found Sunday.
Just 40% of those who responded to the survey said they approved of Biden’s job performance overall, the poll results show. His job approval rating has gradually fallen since April 2021 when 53% of Americans said they approved of his performance.
The number of those who said that they disapprove of Biden’s job performance was 55%, a figure that has been relatively unchanged since October.
However, the poll was conducted between March 18-22 before Biden criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin and said he “cannot remain in power” during a speech on Saturday.
His comments, which appeared to condone a regime change, mark among the sharpest rebukes Biden has made against his Russian counterpart and could influence his approval rating.
Biden is also expected to unveil a new 20% tax on the ultra-wealthy as part of his 2023 budget proposal, a move that would likely cause outrage among Republicans and conservative Democrats.
Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster with Public Opinions Strategy who conducted the survey with Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, told NBC News the results indicate Biden and Democrats “are headed for a catastrophic election.”
“You cannot get down to the low 40s in presidential approval unless you have strained your own base,” he said.
Respondents overwhelmingly said that they believed the United States was headed on the wrong track, which remains relatively unchanged since October. However, that figure has increased since April when just 56% of Americans said the country was headed in a negative direction.
The poll also found that 67% of Americans had positive impressions of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky while 88% of Americans had a negative impression of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
More than 80% of those surveyed said they were concerned that the war in Ukraine will involve nuclear weapons while 74% said they are concerned the U.S. will send troops to fight in Ukraine, which Biden has repeatedly fought against.
Meanwhile, 16% of respondents said that they believed the United States was already in a war with Russia and 41% said that they believed the United States would be within the year.
Most respondents, about 62%, said that their family income has already fallen behind the cost of living as prices increase and 31% said they are just breaking even.
When asked whether Biden should prioritize combatting inflation or the war in Ukraine, the majority of respondents (68%) said that the president should focus on inflation and the economy.
“Americans were looking for greater certainty and stability after the 2020 election,” said Horwitt, the Democratic pollster. “Whether it is at home or abroad, these expectations have not been met.”
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