Fifty percent of likely voters believe Joe Biden is making a colossal mistake by using the Ukraine war to “bleed Russia dry [and] topple [Vladimir] Putin,” according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports released Monday.

Only 35 percent of Americans do not think Biden’s policy is a “colossal mistake,” according to the poll.

Liberals are the only group that trusts Biden’s confrontation policy, although by just two points — by 45 percent to 43 percent.

But the same March 23-24 poll of 1,000 likely voters also showed that 45 percent of Americans also believe that Biden is not doing enough “to help Ukraine fight the Russian invasion.”

The split result comes as a rising number of experts and European leaders are worried that Biden is aggressively escalating the regional conflict with nuclear-armed Russia towards a nuclear confrontation. Those worries were spiked this March 26 when Biden seemed to declare a virtual war on Russia’s dictator, Vladimir Putin, by declaring, “for God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

Those worries are also worrying Americans.

Only 12 percent of the 1,000 likely voters who were polled have “a great deal of confidence,” in President Joe Biden’s ability to manage the crisis caused by the escalating war between Ukraine and Russia, says an NBC poll. The March 18-22 poll showed that just 16 percent of respondents have “quite a bit of confidence,” while 71 percent have “just some” or “very little” confidence in Biden’s management of the crisis with post-Cold War, nuclear-armed Russia.

March 9-10 poll by Rasmussen showed that 77 percent of 1,000 likely voters are concerned Russia will use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, and 38 percent are concerned Russia may use nuclear weapons against the United States.

The new Rasmussen poll asked likely voters to agree or disagree with the statement, “The Biden administration is making a colossal mistake in thinking that it can protract the war in Ukraine, bleed Russia dry, topple Putin and signal to China to keep its hands off Taiwan.”

Fifty percent agreed with the statement — including 29 percent who strongly agreed and 21 percent who somewhat agreed.

Thirty-five percent disagreed that Biden’s policy is a mistake, including 13 percent who strongly disagreed and 22 percent who somewhat disagreed.

Republicans split 57 percent agree to 25 disagree, and moderates split 43 percent agree to 37 percent disagree. Asians and Latinos split 56 percent agreed, 30 percent disagreed.

Democrats split 47 percent agree to 41 percent disagree. But the party’s core of liberals trust Biden — only split 43 percent agree with the statement, while 45 percent disagree with the statement.

The “colossal mistake” statement comes from an op-ed by British historian Niall Ferguson, posted at

“The only end game now,” a senior administration official was heard to say at a private event earlier this month, “is the end of Putin regime. Until then, all the time Putin stays, [Russia] will be a pariah state that will never be welcomed back into the community of nations. China has made a huge error in thinking Putin will get away with it. Seeing Russia get cut off will not look like a good vector and they’ll have to re-evaluate the Sino-Russia axis. All this is to say that democracy and the West may well look back on this as a pivotal strengthening moment.”

I gather that senior British figures are talking in similar terms. There is a belief that “the U.K.’s No. 1 option is for the conflict to be extended and thereby bleed Putin.” Again and again, I hear such language. It helps explain, among other things, the lack of any diplomatic effort by the U.S. to secure a cease-fire.  It also explains the readiness of President Joe Biden to call Putin a war criminal.

But, Ferguson noted, “Putin has the power — unlike Saddam or Qaddafi — to threaten to use nuclear weapons.”

Already, “Ukraine has to make do with just arms supplies. And the reason for that, as we have seen, is the Biden administration’s intense fear that Putin may escalate to nuclear war if U.S. support for Ukraine goes too far,” Ferguson wrote.

Nonetheless, a second question in the survey showed strong support for Ukraine in its war against Russia, the former Cold War enemy of the United States.

Fifty-five percent of respondents said Biden is not doing enough, when asked “Is the United States doing too much or not doing enough to help Ukraine fight the Russian invasion? Or is the amount of U.S. support to Ukraine about right?”

Just 15 percent said too much, and 33 percent said “about right.”

The stakes are high, in part, because Russian officials see the U.S. military support for Ukraine as an indirect war against Putin and Russia.

“A real hybrid war, total war, was declared on us,” Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said as he described his government’s view of the military and economic support from the United States and Europe for the Ukraine government. The goal is “to destroy, break, annihilate, strangle the Russian economy, and Russia on the whole.”

The Russians’ apocalyptic view was bolstered by Biden’s March 26 comment, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

The Biden confrontation has crashed the long-standing expectation that a modernizing post-Putin Russia would ally with America to curb China’s expanding power.

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