(NewsNation) — American voters think Russia hasn’t suffered nearly enough for its war in Ukraine, and an increasing number are prepared to support a no-fly zone or using American troops despite terrible risks, according to a new NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll released Thursday.
According to the NewsNation poll:
- About 59% of Americans think the price Russia has paid for its invasion is “too weak.”
- More than two-thirds of the country approves of a no-fly zone over Ukraine. When the question mentions that a no-fly zone could result in a war with Russia, support drops to a slender majority (52%).
- Most Americans still oppose using American troops to defend Ukraine. But the number who support it (42%) is up. Two weeks ago with a similar question, a NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll found 35% supported using U.S. troops.
President Joe Biden is in Brussels, where he is expected to announce new sanctions on Russia before meeting with NATO to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. This latest NewsNation poll also shows Americans still don’t approve of the job the president is doing. But the mood of the country is its most hostile and aggressive yet against Russia, backing new sanctions.
“The American people are more open to continued and probably increased support of Ukraine, and that can take the form of more sanctions on Russia and that can take the form of more arms and aid,” said Scott Tranter, an adviser for Decision Desk HQ.
The NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ survey was conducted between Monday and Tuesday. A total of 1,086 registered voters were interviewed and most poll questions had a margin of error of about 3%.
NewsNation will discuss the poll through the day. Leland Vittert will break down the poll results further during his show, “On Balance,” at 7 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday. Find out how to tune into NewsNation.
broad SUPPORT for NO-FLY ZONE
Most Americans want the United States to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, even if doing so would draw NATO into war.
Nearly 70% of those surveyed somewhat or strongly approve of the U.S. enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, compared to about 30% who somewhat or strongly disapprove. Only 10% of respondents strongly disapproved of the idea.
Despite pleas from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President Joe Biden and NATO allies have not imposed a no-fly zone over the country. That’s because enforcing a no-fly zone could require NATO allies to shoot Russian planes out of the sky, which would lead to a broader and possibly nuclear war with Russia.
When presented with the possibility that a no-fly zone would result in NATO entering the war against Russia, the majority of Americans still supported the idea.
Even with its superior air force, Russia has not controlled Ukrainian airspace, leaving experts to wonder whether a no-fly zone is even necessary. Others have questioned the impact a no-fly zone would make, given Russia’s reliance on long-range missiles.
Ret. Gen. Phil Breedlove, former supreme allied commander of NATO, has suggested a limited “humanitarian” no-fly zone, which would not require NATO to fire at Russian aircraft unless they attack civilians or NATO forces.
majority against sending u.s. troops
Americans are still against sending U.S. troops to fight in Ukraine, although support for doing so has increased in recent weeks.
Nearly 42% of those surveyed somewhat or strongly support deploying U.S. troops to the conflict if economic sanctions do not stop Putin from taking further military action.
Over 58% of people are somewhat or strongly opposed to sending troops.
Earlier this month, a NewsNation poll found 35% of Americans supported deploying troops to Ukraine, 7% less than the most recent polling. However, the previous poll included a “not sure” option which accounted for 15% of responses. That option was not included in the most recent poll.
The United States continues to send anti-aircraft systems and anti-tank weapons to the Ukrainian army.
russia has not suffered enough
Last month, Biden said that Russia will end up “paying the price” for its invasion of Ukraine, but so far the majority of Americans don’t think Russia has paid enough.
Nearly 60% of those surveyed said Russia has paid “too weak” a price compared to only 12% who thought the country has paid “too heavy” a price.
The U.S. and its allies have imposed sweeping economic sanctions targeting everything from Russian banks to major exports like vodka and seafood. However, experts say there is still plenty of headroom before sanctions reach the levels imposed against Iran and North Korea.
The Biden administration has not ruled out additional sanctions in the face of escalating Russian aggression, and NewsNation polling suggests he would be supported in doing so.
When asked whether the U.S. has done enough to help Ukraine, 46% of respondents said it had, compared to 41% who said the U.S. has done too little, a signal that Americans may want European allies to be the ones to turn up the pressure on Russia.
“We think more should be done but we don’t necessarily think it should always be us,” said Tranter.
americans fear chemical attack
Americans are almost universally concerned about the use of chemical warfare in future conflicts. More than 90% of survey respondents said they were somewhat or very concerned about chemical warfare. Less than 2% of people said they were not at all concerned.
Chemical weapons have received new attention in recent weeks as experts fear Putin could resort to more ruthless tactics if his military continues to struggle on the ground.
Earlier this month, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova asserted, without evidence, that Ukraine was running chemical and biological weapons labs with U.S. support. White House press secretary Jen Psaki called Russia’s claim “preposterous.”
Also, a White House team is building its own plans in case Russian President Vladimir Putin uses his stockpiles of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, according to The New York Times.