New Polls Show Unity on Ukraine, Support Rising for Joe Biden

by Greg Valliere, AGF Management Ltd.

Insights and Market Perspectives

AFTER MONTHS OF DIVISION on every topic from Covid to economic policies, America has come together over Ukraine — and suddenly a landslide loss for Democrats in November no longer looks certain.

JOE BIDEN’S JOB APPROVAL RATING has climbed by several points following a State of the Union address that moved the president closer to the center on issues like funding the police and rejecting huge new spending programs.

THE TWO GAME-CHANGERS have been last Friday’s sizzling jobs report, and a surge of support for Biden’s handling of the horrifying Ukrainian war, which has pushed Covid, urban crime, inflation, etc. off the front pages.

REMARKABLY, A MAJORITY OF AMERICANS say they’re willing to pay higher gasoline prices in exchange for tougher Biden policies — banning U.S. purchases of Russian oil and imposing a no fly zone. Judging from the huge spike in oil prices overnight, that public resolve will be tested soon.

NOT ONLY IS THE PUBLIC RALLYING BEHIND tougher sanctions, but the usually dysfunctional Congress is in general agreement that the U.S. should cut off Russian oil purchases. A long-stalled anti-Russia bill is likely to pass soon, banning Russian oil. Biden has been lukewarm, but will go along.

THE PUBLIC IS OUTRAGED at Vladimir Putin, and Biden probably will have to do more. He has some political capital now, with a 10% bump in his job rating among independents, and a 90% approval rating among Democrats, a significant move from the mid-70s during the winter.

WHILE THE DEMOCRATS ARE UNITED, the Republicans are not. Party leaders cringed when Donald Trump declared that Putin’s invasion was “genius,” and Sen. Lindsey Graham won bipartisan condemnation after he publicly called for Putin’s assassination (although, in private, many politicians agree).

IT’S WAY TOO PREMATURE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE REPUBLICANS will stumble this fall, so we’ll stick with our theme that the Democrats’ House losses will be relatively modest — perhaps 15 or 20 seats, not the 30 to 35 that some GOP strategists are expecting. They need a net pickup of five seats to recapture the House, which seems likely — but not certain.

A WEEK IS A LIFETIME in politics, so Biden’s move toward the center could fizzle, inflation could stay red-hot, and the war in Ukraine could drag on for several bloody weeks. But the Republicans — especially Trump — don’t seem to have their act together on Ukraine, while Biden has managed to unify all of NATO over sanctions that will drive the Russian economy into an imminent Depression.




The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies.

The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.

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About AGF Management Limited

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This post was first published at the AGF Perspectives Blog.

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