Chart of the Day: Ukraine War Polling – Do You See Any Surprises?

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It is difficult to make a broad statement about how Americans support the war in Ukraine, as opinions on the conflict are divided and complex. Some Americans support Ukraine and its efforts to defend its sovereignty, viewing Russia’s actions as a violation of international law and a threat to regional stability. Others are more critical of Ukraine’s government and view the conflict as a result of tensions between Russia and the West and supporting the military-industrial complex.

So how do Americans feel about the Ukraine war?

A 61% majority of Democrats approved of the administration’s response to the invasion, but more than half of Republicans (54%) disapproved of it. Still, around a quarter of Republicans (27%) had a positive view of the Biden administration’s response – notably more significant than the share who approved of how Biden was handling his job as president at the time (6%).

In January 2022, with Russian troops massing near the border but not yet crossing into Ukraine, Americans were slightly more likely to see Russia as a competitor of the US than as an enemy (49% vs. 41%). By March 2022, after Russia’s invasion, the tables had turned: Seven in ten Americans saw Russia as an enemy, while 24% saw it as a competitor. See this in the chart below and learn more here.

Here is another poll from the AP that shows this declining support as well. A majority of Americans, 63%, still favor imposing economic sanctions on Russia, the poll shows, though that too has decreased from the 71% who said that in May 2022.

And 59% say limiting damage to the U.S. economy is more important than effectively sanctioning Russia, even if that means sanctions are less effective. Almost a year ago, in March 2022, the situation was reversed: 55% said it was a bigger priority to sanction Russia effectively, even if it meant damage to the U.S. economy. See this in the chart below.

How do the Russians view Putin as their leader and his efforts in the ongoing Ukrainian conflict? According to a survey by the independent institute Levada Center, the approval of Putin in Russia rose to 82% in January. The Ukraine invasion itself boosted Putin’s popularity at home from around 70% to 83% in March 2022. See this in the chart below and learn more here.

According to a new survey by the independent institute Levada Center, 75 percent of Russian said in January that they supported the actions of Russian military forces in Ukraine, as the survey is putting it. This support dipped to 72 percent in September around the announcement of partial mobilization and again to 71 percent in December. When the war had just started in March, support had been at 80 percent. See this in the chart below and learn more here.

On the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion, nearly half of the American voters see the war in Ukraine as a stalemate.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 19% of Likely US Voters believe Russia is winning the war in Ukraine. Twenty-one percent (21%) think Ukraine is winning, down from 32% in December.  Forty-six percent (46%) see the war in Ukraine as basically a stalemate, up from 38% in December. Another 14% are not sure who’s winning (see survey question wording, click here).

Looking at pledges of military aid to Ukraine between Jan. 24, 2022, and Jan. 15, 2023, the U.S. government has committed to providing more financial assistance for military purposes than any other country – and as this infographic using data from the Ukraine Support Tracker by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, the gap to other countries is huge. See who has been providing the majority of Ukrainian support to date in the graphic above and learn more here. One can see that the Ukraine conflict is largely a US one.

Are there any surprises seen in this Ukraine war polling?

From the American viewpoint, it is fairly consistent with other conflicts the US has been involved with in recent decades. There is general initial bi-partisan support that later wanes with time. Differences then begin to break out on party lines.

If one can believe the polling, what may be surprising is the Russian support for Putin. Listening to Western media gives one the impression that Putin is on his last leg and the people of Russia are about to rise up in revolution against Putin for his war folly. It shows clearly that Western journalists are alive and well as part of the overall war propaganda.

The other surprising and disturbing note is how ineffective the over $100 billion and more in US-Ukrainian aid has apparently been (not even including over $40 billion in international aid). Given that this US-Ukrainian war budget amount is far more than Russia’s entire military budget, one wonders where all the money has gone. Some in Congress are asking the same questions. This is a list of all known international military aid for Ukraine.

The best Ukrainian war effectiveness to date is that the US has only been able to achieve a stalemate?

Give us your take in the comment section below. Do you see any surprises in this polling data – or do you not believe the polling data at all?

See more Chart of the Day posts.

By Tom Williams

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