New Marquette Law School Poll national survey finds near-even split in approval of President Biden’s handling of Ukraine, amid sharp partisan divides in general and no rebound in decline in Black support  

MILWAUKEE — A new Marquette Law School Poll national survey finds 48% of adults saying they approve of the way President Joe Biden is handling the Russian invasion of Ukraine, while 51% disapprove. Approval of Biden’s overall job performance is 44%, with 55% disapproving. In January, Biden’s overall approval was 46%, with disapproval at 55%.

Partisan divisions are nearly as sharp on Biden’s handling of Ukraine as they are on his overall handling of his job, as seen in Table 1 (a) and Table 1 (b). Republicans are 10 percentage points more approving on Ukraine than they are on the president’s overall job performance, and independents are somewhat more approving than Republicans. Democrats are slightly less approving on Ukraine than on Biden’s overall job performance.

All results in the tables below are stated as percentages; the precise wording of the questions can be found in the online link noted above.

Table 1: Approval of Biden handling of Ukraine and of his overall job

(a) Handling of Russian invasion of Ukraine, by party

Party IDApproveDisapprove

(b) Handling of job overall, by party

Party IDApproveDisapprove

The survey was conducted March 14-24, 2022, interviewing 1,004 adults nationwide, with a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.

Potential 2024 presidential matchups

While the 2024 election is far in the future, comparison of how Republican candidates perform now helps understand their support in a developing field of possible candidates and their relative performance versus Biden. The support for Biden, which barely passes 40% in any matchup, also shows the challenges facing the president in any 2024 run, even as he leads in each matchup.

  • Former President Donald Trump trails Biden, pulling support of 37% of those surveyed against Biden’s 41% support. The mood of the electorate is also seen in the 15% who say they would vote for someone else and another 7% who say they would not vote.
  • Former Vice President Mike Pence receives 33% against 37% for Biden, with 21% saying they would vote for someone else and another 8% saying they would not vote.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has the support of 33% to 38% for Biden, with 20% saying they would vote for someone else and another 9% saying they would not vote.

The margins are 4 or 5 points regardless of the GOP candidate, suggesting that none of these Republicans performs significantly better than the others in a general election contest.

Trump remains better known than Pence or DeSantis. The latter (DeSantis) is substantially less known among adults nationally. Table 2 shows the candidates’ favorability and respondents’ ability to give an opinion of Biden and the three Republicans. Notably, all four have net unfavorable ratings, with Biden the least net unfavorable and Trump the most net unfavorable.

Table 2: Recognition and favorability ratings of potential 2024 presidential candidates

NameAble to rateNet favorabilityFavorableUnfavorable
Joe Biden97-94453
Donald Trump97-253661
Mike Pence84-223153
Ron DeSantis61-112536

Among Republicans, the views of Trump, Pence, and DeSantis are much more favorable than among all adults. Table 3 shows favorability among those who call themselves Republicans and those who say they are independent but lean to the Republican party. Each of the three has a higher net favorability among Republicans than among independents who lean Republican, but all have net positive favorability among both Republicans and independents who lean Republican.

Table 3: Recognition and favorability ratings among Republicans and independents who lean Republican

NameParty IDAble to rateNet favorabilityFavorableUnfavorable
Donald TrumpRepublican98628018
Donald TrumpLean Republican100326634
Mike PenceRepublican85436421
Mike PenceLean Republican85114837
Ron DeSantisRepublican6852608
Ron DeSantisLean Republican5436459

Trump’s strength among GOP voters is also clear in the support for his running again, with 68% of Republicans saying they would like to see this. This drops to 54% among independents who lean Republican and 29% among independents who do not lean. The full response by party is shown in Table 4.

Table 4: Would like to see Trump run again in 2024, by party ID, March 2022

Party IDYesNo
Lean Republican5446
Independent (not leaning)2971
Lean Democrat793

Views of the 2020 election

By a nearly two-to-one margin, adults nationally are very or somewhat confident that the votes were accurately cast and counted in the 2020 presidential elections. Sixty-three percent express that confidence, while 37% say they are not too or not at all confident. There has been only a very slight trend toward greater confidence since September 2021, shown in Table 5.

Table 5: Confidence in 2020 election trend, September 2021-March 2022

Poll dateConfidentNot confident

These views vary sharply by party and have shifted a bit over time, as shown in Table 6. Republican confidence in the election increased in November but has declined since then, while confidence among independents who lean Republican has steadily declined since September. Confidence among independents who do not lean toward either party has steadily grown over the last two surveys to a two-thirds majority. Confidence among Democrats, and among independents who lean Democratic, has slightly increased to a nearly unanimous level.

Table 6: Confidence in 2020 election by party trend, September 2021-March 2022

Party IDPoll dateConfidentNot confident
Lean Republican9/7-16/213961
Lean Republican11/1-10/213664
Lean Republican1/10-21/222971
Lean Republican3/14-24/222971
Independent (not leaning)9/7-16/216139
Independent (not leaning)11/1-10/215050
Independent (not leaning)1/10-21/226039
Independent (not leaning)3/14-24/226733
Lean Democrat9/7-16/218812
Lean Democrat11/1-10/21946
Lean Democrat1/10-21/22955
Lean Democrat3/14-24/22955

Seriousness of coronavirus

Views of the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic in the respondent’s state have waxed and waned as the rate of disease has shifted since last summer. The percentage rating coronavirus as a serious problem has now fallen to 34%, by far the lowest value in the survey since September.

Table 7: Do you think the current level of coronavirus cases in your state is a serious problem or not a serious problem?, September 2021-March 2022

Poll dateSerious problemNot serious problem

Even as the rate of infection has fallen to the lowest rate nationally since midsummer of 2021, a much higher percentage of Democrats continue to say the level of cases is a serious problem than do Republicans or independents. In March, 51% of Democrats said coronavirus was a serious problem, while 16% of Republicans thought it was serious. Throughout the fall and winter, members of each party group have responded to the shifts in infection rates. Republicans have been least likely to say coronavirus is a serious problem, independents more likely to say so, and Democrats the most likely to say it is a serious problem. Table 8 shows these trends by party.

Table 8: Do you think the current level of coronavirus cases in your state is a serious problem or not a serious problem, by party September 2021-March 2022

Party IDPoll dateSerious problemNot serious problem

In this March survey, 70% report they have been fully vaccinated, while the CDC reports that 75% of those 18 and over are fully vaccinated. The full-vaccination rate has risen slowly since September, as shown in Table 9.

Table 9: Fully vaccinated, September 2021-March 2022

Poll dateFully vaccinatedNot fully vaccinated

Republicans and independents remain less likely to report being fully vaccinated than Democrats, as shown in Table 10.

Table 10: Fully vaccinated by party, March 2022

Party IDFully vaccinatedNot fully vaccinated

The price of gasoline

Rising gasoline prices are a trending topic in the news, but does the public think the president can control the price of gas? A majority, 51%, say the president can do a lot about gas prices, while 34% say this is beyond any president’s control. There are sharp partisan differences in this perception, with Republicans much more likely to say presidents can control gas prices, while Democrats tend to claim this is beyond any president’s control, as shown in Table 11.

Table 11: Is the price of gasoline something a president can do a lot about, or is that beyond any president’s control?, March 2022

Party IDCan do a lotBeyond president’s controlDon’t know

Beliefs about presidential control of gas prices are highly dependent on partisanship and the occupant of the White House. When this question was asked with a Republican president, in a CBS/New York Times national poll Sept. 9-13, 2005, 42% of Republicans said a president could do a lot about gas prices and 50% said it was beyond his control, while among Democrats 76% said a president could do a lot about gas prices, with 16% saying it was beyond his control.

Belief about control over gas prices still affects overall job approval for Biden within each party, as shown in Table 12. Those who think a president can do a lot about gas prices are substantially less likely to approve of Biden than those who say gas prices are beyond his control, regardless of party.

Table 12: Approval of Biden, by opinion on control of gas prices and by party, March 2022

Party IDControl gas priceApproveDisapprove
RepublicanCan do a lot297
RepublicanBeyond president’s control3367
IndependentCan do a lot1684
IndependentBeyond president’s control6634
DemocratCan do a lot7722
DemocratBeyond president’s control926

Trends in Biden Approval

Biden’s approval is down 14 percentage points from his July high of 58%. Approval fell sharply in September and declined further in the months since, as shown in Table 13.

Table 13: Approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president, July 2021-March 2022

Poll dateApproveDisapprove

The trend in Biden’s approval by party is shown in Table 14. An initial 16% approval among Republicans in July has fallen to 8% now. Independents have seen a substantial decline in approval, from 57% in July to 37% in March, while Democrats have also declined, from 96% to 86%.

Table 14: Approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president, by party, trend, July 2021-March 2022

Party IDPoll datesApproveDisapprove

Biden holds majority approval among Black and Hispanic adults, while a substantial majority of white adults disapprove, as shown in Table 15.

Table 15: Approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president, by race and ethnicity, March 2022

Race and ethnicityApproveDisapprove

The trend in approval by race and ethnicity since July shows a very substantial decline in approval among Black adults, with smaller but consistent declines among white and Hispanic respondents, as shown in Table 16.

Table 16: Approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president, by race and ethnicity, trend, July 2021-March 2022

Race and ethnicityPoll datesApproveDisapprove

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The survey was conducted March 14-24, 2022, interviewing 1,004 adults nationwide, with a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points. Interviews were conducted using the SSRS Opinion Panel, a national probability sample with interviews conducted online. The detailed methodology statement, survey instrument, topline results, and crosstabs for this release are available at Some items from this survey were released separately.