William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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THE REAL AMERICAN SPIRIT – OVERNIGHT:  As usual, the American people are ahead of their government, politically and morally.  From Fox Business: 

Nearly three-quarters of Americans questioned in a new national poll say they’d support a ban on Russian oil to punish Moscow as it continues its deadly invasion of neighboring Ukraine, even if it triggers another steep rise in already high domestic gas prices.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey released on Monday, 71% backed a Russian oil ban even if it further increased gas prices, with 22% opposed. Eighty-two percent of Democrats, seven in ten independents and two-thirds of Republicans surveyed said they supported a ban.

"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 growing number of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are calling for a ban of all oil imports from Russia, but President Biden’s administration told Fox News on Monday that "no decision has been made at this time."

The poll, which was conducted March 4-6, also indicated nearly 80% support for a U.S. military response if Russian leader Vladimir Putin extends his invasion beyond Ukraine and attacks a neighboring NATO country. According to the treaty of the NATO alliance of 30 European and North American nations – including the United States – an attack on one member will be considered an attack against all members.

Fifty-six percent of those questioned said steps taken so far by the Biden administration to punish Russia for its assault on Ukraine are not tough enough, with 30% saying they’re about right and 3% saying they’re too tough. Those findings are largely unchanged from a Quinnipiac poll released a week ago.

The poll also indicates that "Americans are divided on Joe Biden's handling of the response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine with 42% approving, 45% disapproving, and 13% not offering an opinion. This compares to a week ago when 39% approved, and 47% disapproved."

The president’s overall approval rating remains underwater, at 38% approval and 51% disapproval, nearly unchanged from 37%-52% in last week’s poll.

COMMENT:  It makes sense for a president's approval to inch upward after a State of the Union message, especially if the nation is involved in a potential war situation.  It's the rally-'round-the-flag response.  But Biden's numbers, given the backdrop, are nothing to write home about.  If trends continue, and that's always a big "if," his party faces a substantial drubbing come election day. 

March 7, 2022