Majority of U.S. Blames Joe Biden for Economic Woes, Not Gas Prices: Poll

While the majority of Americans say that they don't approve of President Joe Biden's handling of the economy, less than half blame him for surging gas prices, according to a new poll.

The survey, conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found that seven out of 10 respondents believe the U.S. economy is not in a good place. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said that they disapprove of Biden's handling of the economy. The respondents were more likely to say that they believe his policies negatively affect the economy instead of helping it.

Meanwhile, less than half of respondents attributed the increases in gas prices to Biden, the AP reported. The disapproval of the president's policies on the economy, coupled with the lack of blame over gas prices, reflects the complexity of American perspectives in the wake of Russia's attack on Ukraine over a month ago.

Consumer inflation jumped 7.9 percent in the 12 months that ended in February, the largest increase in 40 years. That figure, however, did not take into account most of the price increases that have occurred since Russia's invasion.

In a statement on February's consumer inflation report, Biden said the figure was a "reminder that Americans' budgets are being stretched by price increases and families are starting to feel the impacts of Putin's price hike."

Biden Blamed for Economic Woes
While most Americans say they don't approve of President Joe Biden's handling of the economy, less than half blame him for surging gas prices, according to a new poll. Above, gas prices are advertised at over $5 a gallon on February 28 in Los Angeles. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo

"As I have said from the start, there will be costs at home as we impose crippling sanctions in response to Putin's unprovoked war, but Americans can know this: the costs we are imposing on Putin and his cronies are far more devastating than the costs we are facing," the statement said.

The AP poll shows that many Americans agree with this assessment. Of the poll's respondents, 55 percent said that sanctioning Russia is a bigger priority than mitigating the effects on the U.S. economy. Among the economic measures imposed on Russia was a ban on Russian oil imports earlier this month.

Fifty-five percent of Americans said that the rise in gas prices was more attributable to issues beyond Biden's control, while 44 percent said the opposite.

At the same time, 48 percent said they believe Biden's policies were hurting the economy, while 24 percent said that the policies were helping it, the AP reported.

The poll illustrated continuing American concern over upticks in prices for housing, goods and services, even though the U.S. has seen recent indications of economic recovery since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. This includes the lowest weekly number of applications for unemployment aid in more than 52 years.

Uncertainty over the potential consequences of the Russia-Ukraine war, such as additional supply chain woes, may be adding to these concerns.

Among the respondents, 40 percent said they were very concerned about the impacts of higher housing costs, while 24 percent said that they were somewhat concerned.

Fifty-three percent of respondents said they're very concerned about price upticks for other types of products and services, according to the AP.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment but did not hear back by publication time.

Update 03/25/22, 1:20 p.m. ET: This story was updated with additional information and background.