A poll published on Saturday found that 53% of Americans believe sanctions on Moscow hurt the United States more than Russia. Amid high gas prices and rising costs of living, voters are losing confidence in the leadership of US President Joe Biden, with 43% saying he is “OKAY” with Ukraine losing its ongoing conflict with Russia.

With inflation at a 40-year peak and petrol prices near record highs, the Democracy Institute/Express.co.uk poll found Biden doing negatively across all policy areas, with foreign policy the worst.

56% disapprove of his handling of foreign affairs, compared to 40% who approve. In Ukraine specifically, only 38% approve of his administration, while 52% disapprove.

The Biden administration has tried to blame Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, for the rising cost of living at home, with its officials repeatedly referring to “Putin’s Price Hike”. Yet the cost of living rose for months before Russia sent troops to Ukraine, and voters point fingers at Biden for his economic woes.

About 50% said they would back Republicans in the November midterm elections, compared with 42% who said they would vote Democrats. In addition to more voters being “OKAY” what “not well” with Ukraine losing the conflict with Russia (43%-41%), more Americans think it would be better for Biden to leave office than Putin, by 53% to 44%.

Biden has sanctioned the Russian banking and energy sectors, and his administration has shipped nearly $4 billion worth of weapons to Ukraine, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin promising last month “move heaven and earth” to finance the fighting in Kyiv.

The US president also asked Congress to pass another $33 billion aid package for Ukraine, $20 billion of which would go to military aid, and on Monday signed the Lend-Lease Act of 2022, which allows Washington to send unlimited amounts of weapons to Kyiv.

In the eyes of the Kremlin, this avalanche of weapons plus the US and NATO intelligence sharing agreements with kyiv mean that the West is “essentially going to war with Russia through a proxy”.

American voters, however, are not as serious as the Biden administration about pushing this war. According to the latest poll, they consider Russia the fourth biggest threat to the US with 16%, behind North Korea (18%), Iran (20%) and China (40%).

“The Americans were very much in favor of sanctions at the beginning, [but] they are not as interested in sanctions as before,” Democracy Institute director Patrick Basham told the Express.

“Biden made these predictions from the beginning: the ruble would be rubble, we were going to collapse the Russian economy, people would rise up, Putin would be out, Russians would flee Ukraine, [but] none of those things have happened.”

This gap between expectation and reality has made people cynical, he said, comparing the apparent loss of confidence to public disillusionment with coronavirus policies across the West.

“The problem [now] it’s that at least half the country in America thinks they were misled by a lot of things from Covid, so they’re even more cynical about the government and the media than they were two years ago,” he said.

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