As Congress considers President Biden's emergency funding request to send $24 billion in additional aid to Ukraine, Americans are generally supportive. To two questions regarding direct support - one military and another financial - Americans, by a slim margin, want to continue funding the war-torn country, revealed a TIPP Poll conducted last week.
We asked 1,351 respondents this question: "Do you approve or disapprove of continued military support for the Ukraine war?"
Only 27% answered "Approve strongly." But taken with those who said they ‘approve somewhat,’ we recorded that nearly 56% of Americans are not opposed to providing continuing military support. This reading of voter sentiment should provide some cover for our legislators when they take up the Ukraine funding bill.
The response was similar, although slightly less supportive, to a similar question on financial aid: "Given the current U.S. economic condition, do you approve or disapprove of continued financial support to Ukraine?"
One-half of voters want to provide funding for Ukraine, evidently moved by grizzly images of thousands of dead and wounded soldiers bravely putting up a fight and attempting to retake territory. But it is telling that 41% do not want to support Ukraine, given how hard it has been for American families to make ends meet back at home, thanks to Bidenflation of nearly 16%. Consistent charges by conservative Republicans, including Vivek Ramaswamy, who attacked former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as someone more interested in Ukraine's welfare than those on the south side of Chicago, are having an effect.
The good news for warmonger policymakers ends as voters show substantial concern about the future. Nearly 61% are concerned that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine will lead to the use of nuclear weapons.
About the same number, 60%, are concerned that the U.S. and Russia will fight a war over Ukraine. Notice that the concern is shared by 61% of Democrats, 63% of Republicans, and 59% of independents.
Meanwhile, in a telling rebuke to Ukraine's President Zelenskyy, who voiced hope that America will continue lending a helping hand to Ukraine as Washington does to Israel (the so-called Israel model), voters don't want America to support Ukraine forever.
We asked: "To what extent do you agree or disagree with the statement? With a national debt of $33 trillion, the U.S. can't afford to engage in a long-term commitment to Ukraine, which includes military aid, defense and intelligence cooperation, as well as rebuilding efforts." 65% of respondents agreed, with only 25% disagreeing.
We conclude that most Americans did not want to see a war in Ukraine, but once it started, they were persuaded by Western officials and the media that Russia's atrocious actions merited a strong response in both military and financial aid to Kyiv. The support is waning but is still strong enough for politicians to pass one or two more aid bills. Once more stories break out about how America had a significant hand in helping trigger Russia's actions or deliberately missed opportunities to seek peace, the support will likely drop further.
But, Americans are significantly concerned about the West's leadership in the conduct of the war. Despite hundreds of billions in committed funds, Ukraine's famed counteroffensive is barely progressing. Winter is approaching in about four weeks, when battlefield progress will likely stop. If Ukraine is forced to give up territory in return for a cease-fire agreement, what did the last 19 months achieve anyway? Would this mean President Putin will be strengthened to hold out for more concessions from Ukraine? Should the West have pursued peace talks earlier?
Worse, Americans are terrified that as both sides dig in, tensions could substantially escalate to either bring America directly into combat with Russia or that Russia, exasperated by constant Western support to Ukraine, will deploy tactical nuclear weapons. With Ukraine's future in significant limbo - no one knows if it will be granted NATO membership or when - Americans resoundingly reject the idea that America should set aside a line item in its foreign aid budget to provide security guarantees forever.
Hey, want to dig deeper? Download data from our store for a small fee!
Our performance in 2020 for accuracy as rated by Washington Post: