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Biden gets a bounce after the State of the Union, NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll shows

President Biden's approval ratings have risen since he delivered the State of the Union address Tuesday, according to a new NPR/<em>PBS NewsHour</em>/Marist poll.
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President Biden's approval ratings have risen since he delivered the State of the Union address Tuesday, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

After what's been a bleak several months politically for President Biden, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey finds he is seeing a significant boost in his approval ratings across the board following his State of the Union address and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"This is an unusual bounce," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll. "It gets him back to where he was pre-Afghanistan."

Here's a look at some of the numbers:

  • Overall approval rating jumped to 47%, up 8 points from the NPR poll last month. Presidents don't generally see much, if any bounce, out of a State of the Union address. Since 1978, there had only been six times when a president saw an approval rating improve 4 points or more following State of the Union addresses, according to the pollsters. Three of those bounces were for former President Bill Clinton.
  • Ukraine handling is up 18 points to 52%.
  • Coronavirus pandemic handling is now 55%, up 8 points.
  • Economic handling up 8 points to 45%.
  • The national survey of 1,322 adults was conducted March 1 and 2 by live callers via mobile phone and landlines, following the State of the Union address. Results were weighted to reflect the demographics of the country, as shown in the U.S. Census' 2019 American Community Survey. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points, meaning results could be almost 4 points lower or higher.

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    The change is due to jumps with Democrats and independents. For example, on Ukraine, Democrats' approval of Biden went up 27 points. With independents, it went up 17 points.

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    Biden appears to be benefiting from a rally-around-the-Ukrainian-flag moment. A whopping 83% of respondents said they support the economic sanctions the U.S. and allies have leveled against Russia. That includes 8 in 10 Republicans.

    More than two-thirds (69%) said they would still support the sanctions even if they result in higher energy prices. That includes 4 in 5 Democrats, three-quarters of independents and almost 6 in 10 Republicans.

    Biden has warned that Americans, who are already feeling the pinch from higher prices resulting from inflation, will likely see higher gas prices because of the Russian invasion and resulting sanctions.

    Biden continues to face challenges as well. While his rating on the economy, for example, has improved, a majority (53%) still disapprove of how he's handling it, and a slim majority (51%) think his foreign policy decisions overall have weakened America's standing on the world stage.

    And Americans have various concerns about the escalating crisis in Ukraine:

  • About 4 in 5 said they're very concerned or concerned about cyberattacks on the United States and that the conflict will spread to a wider war in Europe.
  • Seven in 10 are worried that nuclear weapons will be used. Older Americans, those 45 and older who lived through the Cold War, were 14 points more likely to show that concern.
  • Americans are split on whether Biden's approach has been about right (46%) or too cautious (43%). Just 6% said he has been too aggressive.
  • Overall, though, the State of the Union address appears to have helped Biden. During that speech, Biden was trying to strike a balance between his base, which he has been struggling with of late, and independents, a key group with which he has seen a significant decline over the past several months.

    "There is a fine line," Miringoff said, "but the bottom line is Democrats came home and the nation — on the whole war in Ukraine — people are behind him."

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.