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Poll: Majority Believe Putin Would Have Known Better Than to Invade Ukraine if Trump Was President

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

President Joe Biden has been in office for just over a year and there's already been two foreign policy crises under his watch, with the catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan and now the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A Harvard Center for American Political Studies (CAPS)-Harris Poll released on Friday, though, shows that a majority of voters believe Vladimir Putin would not have invaded if former President Donald Trump was in office.


As Caroline Vakil for The Hill highlighted, 62 percent of respondents believe that Putin would not have invaded Ukraine if Trump was still president. Not surprisingly, 85 percent of Republican respondents said as much, and 38 percent of Democrats agreed. Thirty-eight percent believe Putin still would have invaded even if Trump was in office.

A majority, at 59 percent, also responded that they believe Putin made such a move because he saw a weakness in President Joe Biden. Forty-one percent responded that it was not a factor.

The poll was conducted from February 23-24, with 2,026 registered voters.

Twitter has been buzzing with such conversation in the previous days already.


Other polls have also shown the American people aren't thrilled with Biden's handling of Russia and Ukraine. 

Vakil highlighted another poll released on Friday, from The Washington Post-ABC News, which found that just 33 percent of Americans approve of Biden's handling of the situation, while 47 percent disapprove and 20 percent have no opinion. 

As Tal Axelrod also reported for The Hill, Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey had indicated voters believe Biden is "too lenient" with Russia, a response 64 percent chose. Thirty-one percent said he's handled it "just right," and just 5 percent say he's been "too tough."

Another poll, from Fox News, had similar though slightly less harsh results for the president. A majority, at 56 percent, believe Biden hasn't been tough enough on Russia, while 8 percent said he was too tough, and 29 percent felt it was just right. 

And, as I covered on Wednesday night, 36 percent of respondents in the Gallup poll approve of Biden's handling of the "situation with Russia," while 55 disapprove.

CNN's Chris Cillizza in his Thursday analysis referenced Gallup in warning that "Joe Biden doesn’t have a strong political hand to play on Russia."

Even with how poor these numbers look for Biden on this (and every other) issue, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took a much different stance. 


As Landon covered on Friday night, Fox News' Chad Pergram quoted the speaker as claiming that "I think it's really important for people to understand the brilliance with which President Biden is conducting this." Pelosi also pointed to the decades Biden has spent in office. "This is a man who served decades as chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He knows the arena. He knows the personalities."

Not only did Putin not invade Ukraine during Trump's four years in office, but he had also invaded the country in 2014, during the last Democratic administration, when President Barack Obama was in office and Biden was his vice president.

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