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
The survey was conducted March 14-24, 2022, interviewing 1,004 adults nationwide, with a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.
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.
|Name||Able to rate||Net favorability||Favorable||Unfavorable|
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.
|Name||Party ID||Able to rate||Net favorability||Favorable||Unfavorable|
|Donald Trump||Lean Republican||100||32||66||34|
|Mike Pence||Lean Republican||85||11||48||37|
|Ron DeSantis||Lean Republican||54||36||45||9|
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.
|Independent (not leaning)||29||71|
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.
|Poll date||Confident||Not 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.
|Party ID||Poll date||Confident||Not confident|
|Independent (not leaning)||9/7-16/21||61||39|
|Independent (not leaning)||11/1-10/21||50||50|
|Independent (not leaning)||1/10-21/22||60||39|
|Independent (not leaning)||3/14-24/22||67||33|
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.
|Poll date||Serious problem||Not 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.
|Party ID||Poll date||Serious problem||Not 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.
|Poll date||Fully vaccinated||Not fully vaccinated|
Republicans and independents remain less likely to report being fully vaccinated than Democrats, as shown in Table 10.
|Party ID||Fully vaccinated||Not fully vaccinated|
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.
|Party ID||Can do a lot||Beyond president’s control||Don’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.
|Party ID||Control gas price||Approve||Disapprove|
|Republican||Can do a lot||2||97|
|Republican||Beyond president’s control||33||67|
|Independent||Can do a lot||16||84|
|Independent||Beyond president’s control||66||34|
|Democrat||Can do a lot||77||22|
|Democrat||Beyond president’s control||92||6|
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.
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%.
|Party ID||Poll dates||Approve||Disapprove|
Biden holds majority approval among Black and Hispanic adults, while a substantial majority of white adults disapprove, as shown in Table 15.
|Race and ethnicity||Approve||Disapprove|
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.
|Race and ethnicity||Poll dates||Approve||Disapprove|
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 https://law.marquette.edu/poll/category/results-and-data/. Some items from this survey were released separately.