How Do Americans Feel About U.S. Involvement in Ukraine War? – While President Joe Biden’s decision to sanctions Russian oil and gas caused already-rising gas prices to increase across the United States, polls from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research have shown that a majority of Americans are willing to take economic damage at home if it helps Ukraine beat Russia and that Republicans, Democrats, and Independents have differing views on how the United States should respond to Russia.
Polls also revealed how well people think President Joe Biden is handling the conflict and the level of confidence that American adults have in the U.S. government and military.
Another study also revealed somewhat of a consensus among both Republicans and Democrats, with both groups leaning more towards believing that the United States should play a minor role in the conflict, rather than a major role.
How Involved Should the United States Be in the Ukraine Conflict?
In a survey conducted between February 18 and 21, just 26% of American adults said that the United States should play a major role in the conflict, with 52% advocating the U.S. play a minor role, and 20% arguing that the United States should stay out of the conflict entirely.
Numbers varied slightly between Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – though, Democrats were more likely to argue that the United States should play a “major role” in the conflict than Independents and Republicans.
22% of Republicans, 20% of Independents, and 32% of Democrats wanted the United States to potentially take direct military action against Russia in the event of an invasion of Ukraine. 52% of Democrats wanted the U.S. to play a minor role, as did 44% of Independents and 54% of Republicans.
Independents were most likely to want the United States to play no role in the conflict at all. 32% of Independents said the U.S. should have no involvement, as did 22% of Republicans and just 14% of Democrats.
The data appears to suggest that Democrats are more willing to accept the possibility of direct military action against the United States in the name of defending Ukraine against Russia, while Republicans and Independents were more likely to advocate de-escalation and avoidance of direct conflict.
Do Americans Approve of Joe Biden’s Handling of the Ukraine Invasion?
Yes and no.
According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted between March 7 and 13, more Americans approved of the job President Joe Biden is doing than disapproved. 39% disapproved of his performance while 47 approved.
In February, AP-NORC polled American adults on their views of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy more generally. The poll found that 88% of Republicans disapproved, 65% of Independents disapproved, and 23% of Democrats disapproved.
Compared to June 2021, it represented a negative shift in public opinion for Biden’s performance. 17% of Democrats disapproved of his performance last year, meaning more Democrats have grown disaffected with the Biden administration’s handling of foreign matters in less than a year. 78% of Republicans also disapproved of Biden’s handling of foreign affairs last year, as did 55% of Independents – meaning both groups have seen an additional 10% grow disaffected with Biden’s performance.
Pew’s March survey offers the most recent insight into American opinions on the conflict. Importantly, however, it was conducted before the president announced energy sanctions against Russia and before already-rising gas prices increased even more.
Whether Americans will remain positive about the president’s performance in the coming weeks and months remains to be seen.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.