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Poll finds majority want Russian oil ban, but are divided on Biden

Majority says Biden Adminstration’s response to Ukraine invasion ‘not tough enough’
Loved ones say several people, including children, died in a suspected Russian airstrike March...
Loved ones say several people, including children, died in a suspected Russian airstrike March 4 on the Ukrainian village of Markhalivka.(Source: Expressen via CNN)
Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 4:31 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2022 at 4:36 PM EST
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HAMDEN, Conn. (WCSC) - A new Quinnipiac University national poll found a majority of Americans would support a ban on Russian oil even if it meant even higher gas prices in the U.S.

The poll, released Monday, found 71% of Americans would support the ban. Over the weekend, the national average price for a gallon of regular gas hit the $4-mark.

“Americans are ready to put a chokehold on Russia’s key financial lifeblood, oil, no matter what the consequences are at the pump,” Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said.

A release from the university found that Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike all favor banning Russian oil in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, although a larger percentage of Democrats support the ban:

Political AffiliationSupport BanOpppose Ban
Democrats8212
Independents7022
Republicans6630
Overall 7122

Biden’s approval rating falls, criticized for response on invasion

The poll found Americans divided on President Joe Biden’s handling of the response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The release states 42 percent approved, 45 percent disapproved and 13 percent did not offer an opinion.

As for the steps the Biden Administration has taken so far to punish Russia, 56% say they are not tough enough, while 30% say they are about right. Only 3 percent labeled them as “too tough,” numbers that are largely unchanged from the previous week’s poll.

Biden’s overall job approval rating stood at 38%, with 51% disapproving, the poll found.

Registered voters gave Biden a negative 40-51% job approval rating.

The release notes Biden’s job approval rating has been “steadily inching higher since he hit a low” in a Jan. 12 Quinnipiac University poll in which his overall approval rating was found to be just 33%.

Nearly 64% of Americans, however, said they have a favorable opinion of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Poll finds support for U.S. military response in NATO country attack

If Russian President Vladimir Putin were to attack a NATO nation, there is broad support for a U.S. military response, the poll found. Seventy-nine percent would favor bringing in the U.S. military to help defend a NATO member while 14% would not.

The poll also found 60% feel Putin is willing to use nuclear weapons against NATO countries while 28% do not.

Asked how long they expect the war in Ukraine to last, 44% said “months,” while 23% said “years.” Nineteen percent said weeks.

Majority thinks Putin ‘unstable,’ believe Russian people ‘in the dark’ about Ukraine

The poll found the majority of participants - 60% - believe Putin to be “mentally unstable,” while 21% believe he is stable, the release states. The 60% figure is an 11-point jump over the previous week’s results.

Half compared Putin’s actions against Ukraine to Adolph Hitler’s actions against Austria and Czechoslovakia before the outbreak of World War II, while 31% said that comparison is “too strong” and 18% said they don’t know enough about that history.

But 86% said they believe the Russian people have no say in what Putin and his government choose to do, and 74% do not think the Russian people have a full understanding of what is happening in Ukraine, given what they know about Russia and its people’s access to information, the release states.

“Russians are largely in the dark about and unable to halt the destruction being wrought by Putin, say Americans who see the Russian leader as mentally unstable. And half of Americans liken Putin to modern history’s darkest villain, Adolf Hitler,” Malloy said.

Stay and fight or flee? What would Americans do?

The poll also asked what Americans would do if they were in the same position as the Ukrainian people. A majority said they would stay and fight rather than flee, with a larger percentage of Republicans answering that way than Democrats:

Political AffliationStay & FightFlee the Country
Republicans6825
Independents5736
Democrats5240
Overall5538

“When confronted with a terrible hypothetical that would put them in the shoes of the Ukrainians, Americans say they would stand and fight rather than seek safety in another country,” Malloy said.

Nearly half of Americans - 49% - say the attack contributed to their feeling anxious, while 50% said it has not.

The nationwide poll was conducted between Friday and Sunday among 1,374 adults with a margin of error of 2.6%. Of the 1,374 surveyed, 1,234 self-identified as registered voters with a margin of error of .28%.

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