HUFFPOLLSTER: Ukraine Polls Find Support For Sanctions, Mixed Review For Obama

03/11/2014 06:01 pm ET | Updated Mar 11, 2014
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

New polling shows most Americans oppose greater U.S. involvement in Ukraine, and at least a third say they're not following the story closely. A new CNN poll finds a slight rise in support for ACA. And empty stomach, full soul, can't lose? This is HuffPollster for Tuesday, March 11, 2014.

AMERICANS WANT LIMITED INVOLVEMENT IN UKRAINE - Pew: "As Russian troops remain in Ukraine’s Crimea region and Crimea’s Parliament has set up a secession vote, Americans prefer the U.S. to not get too involved in the situation. By a roughly two-to-one margin (56% vs. 29%), the public says it is more important for the U.S. to not get involved in the situation with Russia and Ukraine than to take a firm stand against Russian actions….Among the public, 28% say they are very closely following news about Russia sending troops to Crimea in response to a new Ukrainian government, while 31% say they are following news about Russia and Ukraine fairly closely; 40% of the public is following this story not too closely or not at all closely." [Pew Research]

...but back sanctions - Peyton Craighill and Scott Clement: "A bipartisan majority of Americans support hitting Russia with sanctions for its actions involving Ukraine, but the public splits on President Obama's handling of the issue in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. A solid 56 percent supports a coordinated effort of U.S. and European sanctions against Russia, which continues to strengthen its grip over the Crimean peninsula. Nearly as many strongly support sanctions (28 percent) as oppose them altogether (31 percent). A solid 56 percent supports a coordinated effort of U.S. and European sanctions against Russia, which continues to strengthen its grip over the Crimean peninsula. Nearly as many strongly support sanctions (28 percent) as oppose them altogether (31 percent).But Obama, who ordered sanctions Thursday against individuals aiding the takeover, receives lukewarm 42 percent approval and 43 percent disapproval marks, with a substantial 15 percent holding no opinion. Overall, Democrats and Republicans are in rare agreement in supporting sanctions, and familiar discord about Obama. Just over six in 10 of partisans in both camps support sanctioning Russia." [WashPost]

Surveys show rise in attention paid - Three media polls have asked Americans how much attention they are paying to the tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Although their question wording varies slightly, both Gallup and Pew Research find just 30 percent saying they have followed the story very closely over the past week. Pew Research finds a jump from 19 percent very closely the previous week, roughly the same result as found by a recent YouGov poll. Still, at least of a third of Americans continue to say they are following the story not too closely or not at all.

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Obama's rating depends largely on how hard pollsters push the inattentive - Four organizations have asked Americans in early March whether they approve or disapprove of President Obama's handling of the Ukraine situation. They are relatively consistent on the negative rating, with the three polls conducted this past week showing nearly identical scores of 43 or 44 percent disapprove. They vary widely -- between 9 and 27 percent -- on the percentage who say they are unsure, with Obama's approval rating falling as the uncertain percentage rises.

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POLL FINDS ACA SUPPORT UPTICK - CNN: "Support for the country's new health care law appears to be rebounding slightly, according to a new national poll. A CNN/ORC International survey released Tuesday indicates that nearly all of the increased support comes from upper-income and college-educated Americans….According to the poll, 39% of Americans say they support the health care law, up from 35% in December, a record low in CNN polling. The uptick of four percentage points is within the survey's sampling error. Fifty-seven percent of those questioned say they oppose the measure, down five points from December." [CNN]

CNN's previous poll showed lower than average ratings for the health law - The chart below shows CNN's results plotted against a composite of all of the public polling questions that ask a two-way favor/oppose question on the health care law. [HuffPollster]

CHRISTIE'S NJ APPROVAL FALLS TO NET NEGATIVE - FDU Public Mind: "As the so-called “Bridgegate” investigation continues, the governor’s approval numbers in the state among registered voters are down a bit from January. Back then, 48 percent said they approved of his job performance. Today [Christie approval] is 41 percent with 44 percent who disapprove. In November of last year, the governor enjoyed the approval of 61 percent of registered voters. Currently about equal numbers of registered voters like or dislike everything about him. About a third (31%) say they like the governor and his policies while virtually the same number (33%) dislike the governor and his policies." [FDU]

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FEW SEE FREE FOOD AS UNDERMINING THE DIGNITY OF THE POOR - Emily Swanson and Arthur Delaney: "Paul Ryan says the government safety net may protect Americans from the vicissitudes of life, but that handouts leave people unfulfilled in a more profound way….But most Americans don't think handouts steal dignity from the poor, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. And few think there's anything dignified about working for bad pay. Ryan cited free school lunches as an example of something less-than-dignified, but by a 63 percent to 19 percent margin, most Americans said that giving free food to poor people does not undermine their dignity…. [T]here is some good news for Ryan in the poll: The overwhelming majority of Americans say they'd prefer an empty stomach and a full soul over a full stomach and an empty soul if forced to choose." [HuffPost]

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TUESDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Post/ABC finds Americans divided, 42 to 43 percent, on whether they approve or disapprove of President Obama's handling of "the situation involving Russia and Ukraine." [WaPost]

-Everyone still hates Congress. [Gallup]

-Hickman Analytics' (D) polls for a pro-Keystone XL group find close Senate races in Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Colorado. Build KXL Now]

-Democrat Mike Michaud's internal polling finds him leading in the race for Maine governor. [Michaud for Governor]

-An NRCC poll finds Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) trailing his Republican opponent. [WaPost]

-Sean Trende takes yet another look at the Democrats chances of losing the Senate. [RCP]

-Andrew Gelman reviews Jay Livingston's work to put some GSS findings on the happiness of liberals and conservatives into full context. [WaPost's Monkey Cage]

-Darrell Issa pulls Census bill that would have made ACS participation voluntary. [HuffPost]

-Kristen Soltis Anderson (R) says Democrats are struggling to win over millennials. [Daily Beast]

-Ukrainians' trust in their government is low. [Gallup]

-The Pew Internet Project canvasses experts to share their vision of the state of digital life by the year 2025. [Pew Internet]

-Connecticut baseball fans prefer the Yankees. [Quinnipiac]

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this newsletter misstated the effects of Darrell Issa's proposed census bill.

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