Concerns about escalation and economic consequences of the war in Ukraine loom large in U.S. public opinion, even as majorities of Americans favor increased support for Ukraine, particularly in terms of humanitarian aid and further economic sanctions on Russia.
Fifty-five percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll also favor increased military support, even as 8 in 10 express worries about a wider war or the possible use of nuclear weapons by Russia. As many also worry about direct U.S. military involvement, a step most by far rule out.
Economically, two-thirds are very or somewhat concerned that sanctions against Russia will contribute to higher food and energy prices in the United States. Yet, two-thirds also support increasing such sanctions, a sign of commitment to Ukraine’s cause. Indeed, among those who are concerned about price impacts, 64% support sanctions anyway.
Despite public concerns, majorities think the United States should take further action to support Ukraine on several measures in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates. Leading the list, three-quarters back increased humanitarian support, with, as noted, two-thirds for increased economic sanctions and 55% for greater military support. (As with humanitarian support, the nature of potential military support wasn’t specified.)
Notably, support for the United States providing each of these items reaches majorities across partisan lines, with single-digit differences between Democrats and Republicans on sanctions and military support. Democrats are 12% points more supportive of increased humanitarian aid.
Given another option, just 21% of Americans overall think the United States should take direct military action against Russian forces in Ukraine. This declines to 14% if it meant risking a nuclear war.
More generally, the public divides on whether the United States is doing too little (37%) or the right amount (36%) to support Ukraine. Fourteen percent say it’s doing too much. There’s a partisan split on this question, with 47% of Republicans saying the United States is doing too little, compared with 29% of Democrats. Independents fall in between.
Among other groups, women are 16 to 22 points more apt than men to express concern about each of the items tested -- the war expanding into other countries, U.S. forces getting involved, Russia using nuclear weapons and sanctions raising food and fuel prices.
Concerns about price impacts of higher sanctions peak among more economically vulnerable Americans -- those with no more than a high school diploma (77%) or with annual household incomes less than $50,000 (76%) -- as well as among women (77%). Support for increased sanctions, in turn, is lower among less well-off adults, 60%, versus 77% in top-income households.
This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone April 24-28, 2022, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,004 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 percentage points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 29-25-40%, Democrats-Republicans-independents.
The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates with sampling and data collection by Abt Associates. See details on the survey’s methodology here.