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Poll: Ukraine War Not a Top Priority for U.S. Voters

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A M1 Abrams tank from 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, fires a round during a Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise (CALFEX) at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Mar 26, 2018.

Putin’s war in Ukraine has claimed countless lives and destroyed vast chunks of the country. The United States, the EU, and NATO states are sending in billions of dollars of aid to help. But is American support for the conflict starting to soften? 

Russia’s war in Ukraine is not seen as a top priority by US voters, according to a new Morning Consult poll, which comes at a time when House Republicans are pledging to reduce aid to Kyiv when they regain a narrow majority in the lower chamber in early 2023.

While the poll showed a partisan split on the top foreign policy priorities among US voters, it found Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ranks sixth among Democrats and 10th among Republicans. Climate change ranked as the top foreign policy priority for Democrats, the poll showed, while immigration ranked as the number one priority for Republican voters.

Earlier on in the war, polling showed strong support among US voters for US aid to Ukraine. The new poll echoes findings of other recent surveys, which have suggested that US support for continued aid to Kyiv at current levels is softening as the war rages on. Now into its 10th month, the war in Ukraine has had rippling economic consequences, driving up inflation and energy prices.

The US has provided billions in aid to Ukraine, particularly since President Joe Biden entered the White House. Under the Biden administration, the US has committed close to $20 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. Aid provided to Ukraine by the US, especially weaponry, has been crucial to the success of Ukrainian forces against the Russian invaders.

Ukraine has regained control of roughly 55% of the territory Russia occupied after invading in late February, per a recent assessment from the New York Times. But with winter weather arriving, Ukraine still faces a tough fight in the days ahead.

“Both sides are already fighting in very muddy conditions. They will not likely stop fighting when winter freezes the ground and makes it even more conducive to large-scale mechanized maneuver warfare. Combat is more likely to intensify than to slacken as temperatures drop,” according to the Institute for the Study of War, which has closely tracked the conflict and provided timely updates on the state of the war.

The Biden administration earlier this month asked Congress for an additional $37.7 billion in aid for Ukraine, which may pass before Democrats lose control of the House. The incoming Republican majority in the House has signaled that it won’t support massive aid packages to Kyiv.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is widely expected to take the speaker’s gavel, last month said that Congress should not be offering a “blank check” to Ukraine.

Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on Sunday told ABC’s “This Week” that the GOP is “going to provide more oversight, transparency and accountability” when it comes to aid for Ukraine.

“We’re not going to write a blank check,” McCaul said. “Does that diminish our will to help the Ukraine people fight? No. But we’re going to do it in a responsible way.”

Similarly, Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, on Sunday told ABC that “we don’t need to pass $40 billion, large Democrat bills that have been passed to send $8 billion to Ukraine.”

John Haltiwanger is a Political Correspondent at Business Insider. He reports on all things politics with a focus on national security and foreign policy. John has a BA in History from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an MSc in International Relations from the University of Glasgow. When he’s not reporting, John is likely searching for the best pizza slice in Brooklyn or watching/playing soccer. This first appeared in Insider. 

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John Haltiwanger is a senior politics reporter at Business Insider. He reports on all things politics with a particular focus on national security and foreign policy.

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