AP-NORC poll: More support for Ukraine, concern for Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Russia escalates its war in Ukraine and stories of civilian casualties and destruction in cities reach the United States, support for a major American role has grown, as has fear of the threat Russia poses to the US.

The new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research also finds that most Americans say they are willing to accept damage to the economy if they help stop Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion. Forty percent now say the US should have a “major role,” up from 26% in an AP-NORC poll conducted just before the invasion began.

Another 46% say the United States should have a “minor role.” The percentage who think the US should not be involved at all dropped from 20% to 13%.

Poll Suggests Many Americans Want President Joe Biden to Do More to counter Russia without suggesting that it should reverse its promise not to send US troops to Ukraine.

Additional US forces have been deployed to neighboring countries that are part of NATO. The United States and the West, meanwhile, have imposed sanctions that have crushed Russia’s economy. They are providing anti-tank and anti-missile weapons to Ukraine, which has so far mounted a strong resistance, killed thousands of Russian soldiers and prevented Russia from taking kyiv or other major cities. But the White House has also withheld some weapons and intelligence in its bid to avoid direct conflict between the United States and Russia, which have the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals.

A majority of Americans, 56%, think Biden has not been tough enough on Russia, according to the poll. Another 36% said his approach has been “more or less correct.”

Speaking after the release of the earlier AP-NORC poll, White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted that Americans may have different meanings of what is a “major role” or “a minor role” in the conflict. “We make national security decisions based on what is best for the national security of our country, not on the latest polls,” Psaki said.

Russia’s continued bombardment of Ukraine and Putin’s raising of his country’s nuclear weapons alert level has sparked fears around the world. The survey shows that the vast majority of Americans are at least somewhat concerned that the United States will be drawn into a war with Russia, including nearly half who are very or extremely concerned. Several respondents interviewed after the survey raised the possibility of a third world war.

There is also growing concern about Russia’s influence in the world, with 64% saying they are very or extremely concerned, up from 53% a month ago, and strong support for the US sanctioning Russia and supporting Russia. Ukrainian refugees. Two-thirds said they favor accepting people from Ukraine into the US, compared to just 1 in 10 who oppose.

Putin’s decision to invade reminded Leo Martin, an 85-year-old from Council Bluffs, Iowa, of Nazi Germany’s entry into Poland in 1939, which started World War II in Europe.

“I’m not sure if Putin is lying, but it looks like we’re going to have to back off,” he said. “I didn’t think he was as ruthless as he is. That surprised me a bit.”

Americans over the age of 60 were most likely to say the US should play an important role, at 58% compared to 39% of those ages 45-59 and 29% of those under 45 . The percentages in all three age groups increased this month. february

The poll also found that a slim majority of Americans, 55%, said the top priority for the US in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “to sanction Russia as effectively as possible, even if it hurts the economy.” American”. Still, a sizable minority, 42%, said the top priority is “limiting damage to the US economy, even if it means sanctions on Russia are less effective.”

About 7 in 10 Americans approve of the US economic sanctions on Russia in general and the ban on Russian oil in particular.

“When you look at what the people of Ukraine are going through and all the turmoil there, it’s like, ‘Well, we can pay a little more for gas,’” said Anne-Marie Klein, 38, of Longview, Washington.

Klein said he considered Putin a “madman” and said the United States had to strike a balance between rejecting the Russian president without instigating the kind of global conflict that his two sons, ages 8 and 10, may one day have to face. He said that he believed the United States should play a “minor role.”

“To me, ‘secondary role’ means our troops are not fighting,” he said. “It can stop there and not go nuclear.”

Drake Brandon, a 23-year-old from Sacramento, California, said he was trying to find work and said many people were worried about rising gas prices and economic troubles. But while Brandon also said he wanted the US to have a “minor role” focused on sanctions, he rated his level of concern about the conflict, on a scale of 1 to 10, as 8 or 9.

“I think about that every day,” he said. “Part of me thinks that Putin has nothing to lose at this point.”


The AP-NORC survey of 1,082 adults was conducted March 17-21 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The sampling error margin for all respondents is plus or minus 4.0 percentage points.

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