Americans are becoming less supportive of punishing Russia for launching its invasion of Ukraine if it comes at the expense of the U.S. economy, a sign of rising anxiety over inflation and other challenges, according to a new poll.
While broad support for U.S. sanctions has not faltered, the balance of opinion on prioritizing sanctions over the economy has shifted, according to the poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Now 45% of U.S. adults say the nation’s bigger priority should be sanctioning Russia as effectively as possible, while slightly more — 51% — say it should be limiting damage to the U.S. economy.
In April, those figures were exactly reversed. In March, shortly after Russia attacked Ukraine, a clear majority — 55% — said the bigger priority should be sanctioning Russia as effectively as possible.
The shifts in opinion reflect how rising prices are biting into American households — surging costs for gas, groceries, and other commodities have strained budgets for millions of people — and perhaps limiting their willingness to support Ukraine financially. That may be a troubling sign for President Joe Biden, who on Saturday approved an additional $40 billion in funding to help Ukraine including both weapons and financial assistance. The poll shows low faith in him to handle the situation, and an overall approval rating that hit the lowest point of his presidency.