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Poll: Americans Split On If Obama Is Stronger Leader Than Putin

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US President Barack Obama (R) meets his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin (L)  in Los Cabos, Mexico, on June 18, 2012. (credit: ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/AFP/GettyImages)

US President Barack Obama (R) meets his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin (L) in Los Cabos, Mexico, on June 18, 2012. (credit: ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/AFP/GettyImages)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – A new poll has found that Americans are split if President Barack Obama is a tougher leader than Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to a poll by Quinnipiac University, American voters are divided 42 percent to 42 percent on whether Obama or Putin is a stronger leader.

“It’s a tossup on who is a tougher leader, President Barack Obama or President Vladimir Putin, as Americans weigh the heavyweight standoff over Ukraine,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a press release.

Voters seemed to have mixed signals concerning Obama’s handling of the Ukraine issue. Roughly 45 percent said his handling of Ukraine and Russia has been “about right,” but 36 percent said he’s “not tough enough” and 6 percent said “too tough.”

However, 69 percent of voters support the economic sanctions against Russia by the U.S. and the country’s European allies.

On the involvement by the U.S., 54 percent of voters said the country should not get too involved, while 39 percent want the country to take a firm stand in the situation. On whether the Ukraine situation could lead to a renewal of the Cold War, 56 percent of voters agreed yes.

“Is the old Cold War Bear lurking in Ukraine? Americans express concern but caution on how to handle Russia,” Malloy said.

The poll also found that roughly 80 percent of American voters are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” that the Ukraine situation could lead to a larger regional conflict with U.S. military involvement.

Quinnipiac University polled 1,578 voters from March 26 to March 31. Of those polled, 78 percent of respondents identified as white, 12 percent were Black, and 8 percent were Hispanic.

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