Poll: US majority believes no Russian invasion with Trump as president

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<span>Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

A clear majority of Americans think Vladimir Putin would not have ordered the Russian invasion of Ukraine had Donald Trump still been in the White House, according to a new poll.

Related: Tucker Carlson leads rightwing charge to blame everyone but Putin

The poll, by the Harvard Center for American Political Studies (Caps)-Harris, found that 62% of those surveyed believed Putin would not have sent troops into Ukraine with Trump in the White House.

In partisan terms, the survey found that 85% of Republicans and 38% of Democrats held the view.

The poll, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday this week among 2,026 registered voters, found that 59% said Putin only ordered the invasion because he saw weakness in Joe Biden. Forty-one percent said the US president was not a factor in Putin’s decision.

Republicans in Congress have attacked Biden for perceived weakness in the face of autocratic leaders abroad. Party figures have been less keen to discuss Trump’s expressions of admiration for Putin during the Ukraine crisis.

The Harvard study’s findings broadly buttressed a Fox News poll, carried out before Russia invaded, that found more Republicans had a negative view of Biden than of Putin and more Democrats had a negative view of Trump than of the Russian leader.

That study said 92% of Republicans had a negative view of Biden while 81% had a negative view of Putin. Among Democrats, 87% had a negative view of Trump and 85% a negative view of Putin.

Related: Tucker Carlson condemned for Ketanji Brown Jackson ‘Rwanda’ comments

A third poll, released by NPR/PBS/Marist College, will add concern for a Biden administration battling low approval ratings generated by public dissatisfaction on fronts including handling of the pandemic, the Afghanistan withdrawal, a stalled legislative agenda and inflation.

The NPR-Marist poll found that 56% of Americans said Biden’s first year in office was a “failure”. Just 39% called it a success.

Two-thirds of independents said Biden’s first year was a failure, while 91% of Republicans said so. Among Democrats, 80% called Biden’s first year a success – but 15% said it had been a failure.