According to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, a majority of Americans now find the economy to be more important than Russian sanctions. When asked to pick between “sanctioning Russia as effectively as possible, even if it damages the U.S. economy” and “limiting damage to the U.S. economy, even if it means sanctions on Russia are less effective,” 51% chose the latter, and 45% chose the former. That’s a flip from an April poll, where 51% chose Russian sanctions as their priority, and 45% chose the economy.
“We can help other people, but in helping other people, we have to know how to help ourselves,” Jeanette Ellis-Carter, a retired accountant in Cincinnati, Ohio, said. “And we’re not doing that.”
The shifts in opinion reflect how rising prices are biting into American households. Ellis-Carter noted that annual inflation topping 8% would erase any cost-of-living adjustment for retirees, especially with the rising costs of health care and food.
Despite showing a preference for the economy, the poll shows wide majorities of American adults continue to favor Russian sanctions, banning oil imported from Russia and providing weapons to Ukraine. Over 80% of respondents said the United States should have at least a minor role in the Ukraine invasion.
However, there’s muted support for sending funds directly to Ukraine. Forty-four percent of Americans say they favor sending funds, while 32% are opposed and 23% are neither in favor nor opposed. The poll results were released just days after President Joe Biden approved an additional $40 billion in funding to Ukraine.
“I applaud the Congress for sending a clear bipartisan message to the world that the people of the United States stand together with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their democracy and freedom,” President Biden said in a statement after the Senate approved the $40 billion last week. “The resources that I requested will allow us to send even more weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, replenish our own stockpile, and support U.S. troops stationed on NATO territory.”