By Jason Lange
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan 55% of Americans support sending more U.S. troops to Washington’s NATO allies in central and eastern Europe in response to Russia’s five-week old invasion of Ukraine, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll completed on Tuesday.
President Joe Biden has deployed thousands of additional troops to Europe to support North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies concerned by Moscow’s war on its smaller neighbor.
Biden has made clear no U.S. troops will be sent to Ukraine though Washington is supplying Kyiv with weapons and has aggressively sanctioned Russia’s economy, including a ban on U.S. imports of Russian oil.
Some 61% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans back further troop deployments to NATO countries, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted on Monday and Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the Pentagon announced a new tranche of U.S. troops and military hardware bound for NATO allies, including 10 F-18 jets and more than 200 personnel heading to eastern Europe, including Lithuania.
There are currently more than 100,000 U.S. troops in Europe, up from the roughly 80,000 before Russian troops moved into Ukraine.
The poll also showed 61% of Americans feel U.S. sanctions on Russia are worth the price of higher fuel costs – even after gasoline prices surged at the onset of the war.
That was almost unchanged from a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted a month earlier, though gasoline prices have surged by nearly 20% since then to $4.24 per gallon, according to automobile club AAA.
Some 47% of Americans approve of how Biden has handled the Ukraine crisis, well above the Democratic leader’s 39% rating on the economy, the poll showed.
Biden’s overall popularity has sunk to the lowest levels of his presidency in recent weeks, a warning sign that his Democratic party could lose its razor-thin majorities in the U.S. Congress in the Nov. 8 midterm elections.
The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States, gathering responses from 1,005 adults. It has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 4 percentage points.
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Scott Malone and Rosalba O’Brien)