Biden AdministrationUkraine InvasionInflationEnergyCybersecurity

Who does—and doesn’t—support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine

March 8, 2022, 10:47 AM UTC

The White House has made it clear: While they’re fully prepared to defend every inch of NATO territory, the United States doesn’t intend to put troops in Ukraine. Instead, the nation plans to punish Vladimir Putin’s allies and Russia’s economy. President Joe Biden said last week that the U.S. and its European allies will find and seize Russian oligarchs’ yachts, luxury apartments, and private jets. Already, French authorities have seized a yacht linked to Russian oligarch Igor Sechin.

But where do Americans stand when it comes to confronting Russia? After all, they’re going to have to bear some of the economic costs—with the most obvious being what’s happening to gas prices. To find out, Fortune and Civis Analytics polled 1,887 adults in the U.S. between Feb. 25 and 28.

We found that Americans are eager to punish Russia financially. Among U.S. adults, 67% support issuing additional sanctions on the Kremlin. Another 14% are opposed to additional sanctions, while 19% are undecided. However, Americans are uneasy with the idea of challenging Russia, a nuclear power, militarily. Just 41% of respondents told us they’d support sending American troops to Ukraine. Meanwhile, 43% of respondents said they’d be opposed to sending troops.

When it comes to the idea of sending in troops, there’s a bit of a political divide. Among Democratic leaning voters, 50% said they support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine. Meanwhile, that figure is just 29% and 36% among Independents and Republicans, respectively.

Historically speaking, when the U.S. does enter into military conflicts, it normally does so with significant public backing. For instance, at the onset of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a Gallup poll in 2003 found 72% of Americans supported the conflict. Then there’s the 1991 Gulf War. Amid that conflict, 80% of Americans told Gallup they supported the country’s military effort to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait.

But public opinion could still shift. Following the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, Gallup found only 16% of Americans supported sending troops to Europe. Of course, public opinion would go on to flip by 1941 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. 

*Methodology: The Fortune-Civis Analytics poll was conducted among a national sample of 1,887 adults in the U.S. between February 25 and 28. The findings have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography. 

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