Widespread Support for a U.S. Role in the War Between Russia and Ukraine

Americans continue to support sanctions on Russia, humanitarian aid, and weapons assistance to Ukraine, but fewer support sending government funds or deploying troops directly to Ukraine.

May 24, 2022

Most Americans continue to support the United States’ involvement in the war between Russia and Ukraine, though support for sending funds directly to Ukraine is more tepid and Americans are becoming increasingly wary of making economic sacrifices in order to support effective sanctions.

Overall, support for a U.S. response to the war remains high. Most Americans believe the United States should play a major (32%) or minor (49%) role in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Just 19% feel the United States shouldn’t have a role. While support has not changed since last month, support for the United States playing a major role in the war has dropped from a peak of 40% in March of 2022.

Majorities from both parties support at least a minor intervention, though Democrats are still more likely to support U.S. involvement in the war than Republicans. Ninety-one percent of Democrats favor the United States playing at least a minor role compared to 74% of Republicans.

While a majority of adults support sanctions, a ban on Russian oil imports, humanitarian support for Ukrainian refugees, and supplying weapons, support for more active interventions is lower. Only 48% favor deploying U.S. troops to Eastern Europe to support NATO allies (down slightly from 53% in April). Support for sending government funds directly to Ukraine is more tepid with 44% in favor, 32% opposed, and 23% who neither favor nor oppose the policy.

Most efforts to support Ukraine and sanction Russia enjoy bipartisan support. Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly favor providing humanitarian support to refugees from Ukraine. Majorities in both parties also support imposing economic sanctions on Russia, banning the import of Russian oil, accepting Ukrainian refugees into the United States, and providing weapons to Ukraine. Democrats are more supportive than Republicans of providing direct funding and deploying troops to Eastern Europe.

Americans are becoming less willing to trade-off economic pain at home to ensure the sanctions against Russia are effective. Forty-five percent want sanctions on Russia to be as effective as possible, even at the expense of the U.S. economy. That’s down from 51% in April. More Democrats (55%) than Republicans (38%) prioritize effective sanctions over domestic economic concerns, though the gap between partisan views has closed from 24 percentage points in March to 17 percentage points in the current poll.

Support for direct military intervention in the conflict remains low with Democrats and Republicans unified in their opposition. However, 56% of the public, including 50% of Republicans and 68% of Democrats, would support deploying troops to defend a NATO ally if they were attacked by Russia.

Only 21% of Americans have a great deal of confidence in Biden’s ability to handle the situation in Ukraine, while 39% have some confidence and another 39% have hardly any confidence at all. About 9 in 10 Democrats have at least some confidence in Biden’s ability to deal with the conflict compared to 1 in 4 Republicans. More Americans continue to disapprove (54%) than approve (45%) of President Biden’s handling of the U.S. relationship with Russia.

The nationwide poll was conducted May 12-16, 2022 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,172 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.0 percentage points.

Suggested Citation: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.  (May 2022).“Widespread Support for a U.S. Role in the War Between Russia and Ukraine” https://apnorc.org/projects/widespread-support-for-a-u-s-role-in-the-war-between-russia-and-ukraine/

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