Majority of Americans want Biden administration to prioritize domestic issues and oppose more American military involvement around the world
ARLINGTON, Va.—In conjunction with YouGov, Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) on Thursday released the results of a new poll of the American public’s attitudes on foreign policy and the war between Russia and Ukraine. More than six months since the start of the war, the poll gauged opinions on the Biden administration’s handling of the crisis and sending additional U.S. financial aid to Ukraine. By and large, Americans signaled a strong discomfort with sending more U.S. aid to Ukraine if wealthy European countries were not at least matching American levels of support.
Dan Caldwell, CVA’s Senior Advisor, had this to say about the amount of U.S. aid to Ukraine and the lack of European aid to Ukraine:
“The United States has provided more aid to Ukraine than nearly every other country combined, despite the limited American national interests at stake in the conflict. Wealthy European countries have so far been content to allow the American taxpayer to carry the financial burden of this war, even though the conflict between Ukraine and Russia is primarily a European security challenge. It isn’t surprising that many Americans disapprove of sending more tax dollars to Ukraine while wealthy European countries are shirking their responsibilities to secure their own backyard. With so many pressing challenges at home and in other parts of the world, the American people clearly don’t want Uncle Sam to continue to play Uncle Sucker in Europe.”
KEY FINDINGS ABOUT U.S. MILITARY INVOLVEMENT IN UKRAINE, U.S. AID TO UKRAINE, & EUROPEAN AID TO UKRAINE
The poll found Americans in large part disagree with the current Biden administration strategy for aiding Ukraine:
- Only 15% of the American public support sending more military and financial aid to Ukraine than wealthy European countries, with almost twice as many people (34%) wanting to send less assistance.
- 54% of respondents said that the United States should only continue to provide aid to Ukraine if the Europeans are willing to match our support.
- Around half of the respondents polled said the U.S. should provide the same level of support for Ukraine as wealthy European countries, not more.
Generally, Americans would like to see less American military involvement in the world overall:
- 57% of respondents oppose (strongly or somewhat) direct American military intervention in the war in Ukraine while only 14% percent support (strongly or somewhat).
- 42% of respondents would like to see less American military involvement abroad. Only 7% would support more engagement.
- A plurality of respondents said Biden should make lowering or eliminating inflation his top priority (40%). Conversely, only 2% believe that ensuring a defeat of Russia in Ukraine should be the President’s main priority.
- Notably, when compared to a similar poll conducted in July, American sentiment on the Russia-Ukraine war has remained largely unchanged – only about a quarter of the American public support directly involving the U.S. military in the Russia-Ukraine war, with more than twice as many people opposing.
Data was gathered by YouGov in two separate fieldings between September 1 – September 12, 2022. YouGov interviewed 1,095 and 1,077 respondents for each fielding, respectively, who were then matched down to a sample of 1,000 for each to produce the final datasets. The respondents were matched to a sampling frame on gender, age, race, and education. The frame was constructed by stratified sampling from the full 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year sample with selection within strata by weighted sampling with replacements (using the person weights on the public use file).
CVA evolved a few survey questions from other polls to better gauge Americans’ true feelings on U.S. military involvement and financial aid to Ukraine.