A growing number of Republican voters oppose military aid for Ukraine, while Democrats remain committed to arming Kiev, according to recent polls. Since Russia invaded Ukraine last year, Congress approved $113 billion in aid for Kiev.
A Pew Research poll conducted in January found 40% of Republicans thought the White House was sending too much military aid to Ukraine. That number is up from nine percent a year ago. Among Democrats, only 15% believe Washington is sending too many weapons. Compared to 23% of blue voters who want President Joe Biden to send more arms.
A February poll conducted by Gallup reported a larger divide. According to the Gallop results, nearly half of Republicans believe the White House is giving Kiev too much support, while 90% of Democrats said the Biden administration was sending the right amount or not enough weapons.
Gallup additionally reported blue voters overwhelmingly are willing to support Ukraine in a long war and are unwilling to accept an end to the conflict that sees Kiev concede territory to Moscow. A slim majority of Republicans support a protracted war.
The Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German think tank, recently released data showing Washington provided nearly $45 billion in military assistance to Kiev in the past year.
A Fox News survey conducted in the days before the first anniversary of the Russian invasion found 74% of Democrats approved of Biden’s Ukraine war policy. Only 24% of red voters said they approved the president’s support for Kiev.
The results were reflected in an AP poll conducted in February that found 90% of blue voters had confidence in Biden’s handling of the war in Ukraine. Over three-quarters of Republicans said they had “almost no confidence” in the White House’s support for Kiev.
While the polling suggests Democratic voters are deeply supportive of the American proxy war in Ukraine, a Democratic member of Congress told the New York Times that the president “may not fully grasp” how many Americans want to give aid to Ukraine. “While [Americans] support Ukraine in principle, the way the aid has been doled out through a steady drumbeat of announcements of another $500 million or $1 billion every week or two exacerbates the sense that endless funds are heading out of the country,” the outlet reported an unnamed House Democrat said.
In recent weeks, members of the Biden administration have communicated to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that support for another massive aid package may be lacking. Mark Cancian, senior adviser for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a hawking Washington-based think-tank, told Newsweek Ukraine should launch an offensive to rally support.
Russian forces have slowly captured Ukrainian territory in recent months. Washington has warned Zelensky that he was expending too many resources fighting for the eastern city of Bakhmut. After suffering massive losses, Zelensky is now considering withdrawing its forces from the city.
Berlin estimated that a “three-digit number” of Ukrainian soldiers were dying, fighting for the city daily. Last week, a retired American Marine fighting in Bakhmut told ABC that the battle had turned into a “meat grinder,” and soldiers lived for an average of only four hours.