As the Russian invasion of Ukraine nears its two-month mark, voters are split on whether President Joe Biden has done enough to deter further damage from the Kremlin.
A majority of voters (54%) say Biden has not been “tough enough” in his response to the war in Ukraine, compared to 36% who say his approach has been “about right,” according to a recent Associated Press/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. Another 8% say the response from the United States has been too tough.
But as the war wages on, voters’ desire for the U.S. to get involved has decreased, as 32% say the country should have a major role in the war — down from 40% last month. However, the sentiment is higher than it was in February before Russia initiated its invasion, when only 26% said the U.S. should have a role to play.
Forty-nine percent say the U.S. should have only a minor role in the conflict.
The results highlight the increasing pressure on the White House to take more drastic action against Russian President Vladimir Putin as images of attacks on Ukrainian civilians and hospitals have been widely shared. More than 2,200 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since the invasion began, with another 2,897 injured, according to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
The Biden administration has emphasized balancing its response with avoiding escalation while warning of potential false flag attacks from Russia to justify further damage. In addition to sanctions, the White House has authorized more than $2 billion in weapons sent to Ukraine but has stopped short of sending U.S. troops to the war-torn country. U.S. troops are also training Ukrainians on how to use certain weapons outside Ukraine, according to the Pentagon.
A majority of voters say they would support the U.S. offering more aid to Ukraine and implementing tougher sanctions on Russia, but only 22% say they would support deploying U.S. troops.
The newly released poll suggests a shift in voter priorities before the midterm elections in November, as 51% of voters say they consider the Russian invasion to be a higher priority than the economy.
The poll surveyed 1,085 adults between Thursday and Monday with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.