President Joe Biden posted his best approval rating in months following his first State of the Union address, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico survey, which also found that for the first time more voters than not approve of his handling of the crisis in Ukraine.
Understanding the approval bump
- While 51 percent of voters disapprove of Biden’s job performance, the figure is down from 56 percent in a survey conducted days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Over the same time period, the share of voters who approve ticked up from 41 percent to 45 percent.
- The latest figures mark Biden’s best job approval rating since Dec. 12-13, before COVID-19’s omicron variant dominated the holiday season and the nation’s attention shifted to the crisis in Eastern Europe.
- A plurality of voters (46 percent) approve of Biden’s handling of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, up 4 percentage points over the week and driven by improvements among Democratic and independent voters.
- Of five surveys that posed the question, it’s the first time more voters have approved than disapproved of his handling of the crisis in Ukraine.
Biden’s improvements follow a week that saw him highlight the world’s rallying around tougher sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his allies at the beginning of his prime-time address.
Just under half of voters (47 percent) said they watched at least some of the speech, which is higher than the 40 percent who reported watching at least some of his speech to a joint session of Congress last spring. Two-thirds said they had seen, read or heard at least some about his State of the Union address. Along with improved sentiment on his handling of the crisis overseas, the week also looks to have provided a modest boost to voters’ perceptions of Biden personally.
What else you should know
- Pluralities of voters view Biden as compassionate (51 percent), knowledgeable (51 percent) and honest (46 percent), all of which are improvements since a similar survey was conducted in November.
- Two in 5 voters believe Biden is “in good health” and 45 percent say he is “mentally fit,” unchanged over four months despite repeated Republican attacks on his cognitive state.
- Half of voters (53 percent) identify Biden as a “weak leader,” yielding the most consensus among 23 traits tested.
The latest Morning Consult/Politico survey was conducted March 4-6, 2022, among a representative sample of 2,005 registered U.S. voters, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.