• Polling

Two in Three Americans View Putin, Oil and Gas Companies Most Responsible for Increasing Gas Prices

Thursday, March 24, 2022 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.
Key takeaways
  • Americans see Biden and Congress prioritizing foreign policy, including the situation in Ukraine; but for those who disapprove of Biden’s handling of the situation, they say the U.S. is not doing enough.
  • On gas prices, Americans blame Putin, oil and gas companies, and global supply chain issues most; when forced to choose directly between Putin, oil companies, and Biden, Putin and oil companies are most responsible.
  • The strongest rebuttals to conservative criticisms of Biden for rising gas prices focus on big oil companies for price gouging and Vladimir Putin for destabilizing the world.

Majorities Continue to Follow the Russian Invasion of Ukraine Closely in the News

Social media news consumers are less likely to be closely following the invasion (69%), compared to Fox News (85%), MSNBC (88%), and CNN viewers (86%).

  • There has been a decline in intensity of awareness: last wave, 37% said they were following “very closely” compared to 30% now.

Americans See Alignment Between Desire for Biden and Congress to Focus on Foreign Policy and Them Doing It

Nearly half (48%) say they want Biden and Congress to focus most on foreign policy, including the situation in Ukraine, and the same share say they feel Biden and Congress are focused on it.

Among Those Who Disapprove of Biden’s Handling of Ukraine, They Feel the U.S. Is Not Doing Enough

Among the 51% who disapprove of Biden’s handling of the situation in Ukraine, 49% say they feel the U.S. is not doing enough in response to Russian military actions, while just 22% say the U.S. is doing too much.

Majorities Support Economic Sanctions Against Russia and the United States Sending Military Aid

Bipartisan pluralities support the U.S. sending military aid to Ukraine (including 69% of Democrats, 42% of independents, and 65% of Republicans) and imposing sanctions on Russia (87% of Democrats, 62% of independents, and 72% of Republicans).

Majorities Support Range of Biden Actions, Including Barring Russian Aircraft Over U.S. and Denying Banking Access

On the other hand, just 34% of Americans “strongly support” implementing a no-fly zone over Ukraine when explaining the implications of enforcing that no-fly zone.

Despite Rising Gas Costs, Americans Support Sanctions and Most Favor Them for Duration of Invasion

There is differentiation by income level: while 64% of those with household incomes below $50,000 a year support the sanctions, 75% of those earning between $50,000 and $100,000 and 81% of those earning above $100,000 support them.

Putin, Oil and Gas Companies, and Supply Chain Issues Get Most Blame for Gas Price Increases

Among independents, supply chain issues (69%) and oil and gas companies (64%) are seen as most responsible for gas prices increasing.

Putin and Russia, Oil and Gas Companies Seen as More Responsible for Gas Prices Increasing Than Biden

Americans hold both Putin and Russia (+10) and oil and gas companies (+8) more responsible for increased gas prices when compared directly to President Biden and Democrats.

Strongest Progressive Rebuttals to Criticisms of Biden’s Handling of Gas Prices Focus on Putin and Price Gouging By Oil Companies

In response to a criticism that Biden is responsible for rising gas prices, hitting oil and gas companies for price gouging and Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine are more effective angles than a pivot to renewables and oil companies’ potential to expand production.

Majorities Support Windfall Tax on Big Oil, and Support Grows With Context of Recent Record-Breaking Profits

Without the context of $75 billion in recent profits, still 58% support the windfall tax including 56% of independents and 40% of Republicans. Adding in that context increases support to 68% overall, 56% among independents, and 55% among Republicans.

About The Study

This release features findings from national online surveys of 1,000 registered voters conducted March 17-21, 2022. Additional interviews were conducted among 107 Hispanic voters, 102 African American voters, 96 independents without a partisan lean, and 79 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org