Most Americans said either the situation with the Chinese spy balloon that traveled across the United States for a full week before it was shot down Saturday was mishandled or should have been handled sooner, and agreed the situation made the U.S. look weak, according to a new poll conducted by Convention of States Action (COSA) and the Trafalgar Group.
The poll results, released Wednesday in a survey taken of 1,086 likely general election voters on Monday and Tuesday, show 34.5% said the situation should have been handled sooner; 28.9% say the matter was mishandled, and 36.6% said the situation was handled correctly.
In addition, most people questioned said they think President Joe Biden should have taken quicker action and ordered the balloon shot down before it entered U.S. sovereign airspace:
- 58.8% said it should have come down earlier.
- 31.4% said they did not agree.
- 9.8% said they were unsure.
The people who were polled also agreed, overwhelmingly, that the Biden administration's handling of the Chinese balloon situation made the U.S. look weak:
- 59.2% agreed that the matter made the U.S. look weak.
- 24.2% said the situation made no impact.
- 10.1% said the matter made the U.S. look strong.
- 6.5% said they were not sure.
Of the voters polled, 39.3% were Democrats, 35.6% were Republicans, and 25.1% did not list a political affiliation.
The balloon came into U.S. airspace on Jan. 28 north of Alaska's Aleutian Islands before heading into Canadian airspace on Monday, according to senior defense officials. It then re-entered U.S. airspace Tuesday in northern Idaho and floated above several areas in the continental United States, including nuclear silos in Montana, before it was finally taken down Saturday in U.S. territorial waters off the South Carolina coast.
Biden said he issued the order last Wednesday to bring down the balloon, which was not shot down over land after it was deemed the falling debris could damage property or injure people on the ground.
COSA polled 1,086 likely general election voters Feb. 6-7. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
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