A majority of Republican voters back continued U.S. aid for Ukraine, a poll has found.
The nationwide survey conducted by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation (PPC) comes as some prominent Republicans argue that Washington’s support for Kyiv is not in the interests of the U.S., which is the biggest donor of equipment and resources to Ukraine.
Kyiv has said it will not start negotiations with Moscow until it commits to withdrawing all its forces from Ukraine. Some Members of Congress and foreign policy leaders have proposed that the U.S. pressure Ukraine to start peace talks without this precondition.
American help for Ukraine will likely remain a topic on the election campaign trail. Among the GOP presidential contenders, only former vice president Mike Pence, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) — who all poll in single digits — have argued that helping Ukraine is in the U.S. interest.
However, the poll of 2,445 voters found that 55 percent of Republican voters in fact backed American aid to Ukraine.
The University of Maryland said that respondents were briefed on the history of Ukraine-Russia relations, the lead-up to the war and were given details proposals and evaluated arguments for and against each before making their final recommendation.
The survey found that 87 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of independents supported the U.S continuing to provide military aid to Ukraine, including military equipment, ammunition, training and intelligence.
The pollsters said that the sample was large enough to get a snapshot of attitudes in very Republican and very Democratic districts. There was 71 percent who agreed with continued American support of Ukraine in both very red and very blue districts.
Meanwhile, across voters of all persuasions, 69 percent of respondents said they backed continued American support for Kyiv to fight against Russian aggression.
“While Republicans and independents are responsive to the arguments that the Europeans should take care of the problem, and that the nuclear risks are high, in the end they come out in favor of U.S. involvement,” Steven Kull, director of PPC told Newsweek in a statement.
Donald Trump has said on numerous occasions that he could end the war between Russia and Ukraine within 24 hours, and in an interview with Fox News on July 16 he said he would threaten further support for Ukraine if Vladimir Putin refused to make a deal with Kyiv.
Recent exclusive polling conducted for Newsweek by Redfield & Wilton Strategies found that 43 percent of Trump voters believe the U.S. has provided too much support to Ukraine. According to the poll 20 percent felt it was too little, 20 percent said it was about right and 17 percent answered “don’t know.”
The survey, conducted on July 15 and 16 among 1,500 registered voters, also found that 41 percent of Trump voters believe the U.S. “should reconsider our levels of support as the war continues.” In total 20 percent believed U.S. support should stop immediately.
The U.S. has so far provided more than $75 billion worth of aid, including humanitarian, financial, and military support, although it has not met every request from Ukraine, particularly for more advanced weaponry.
Last month, the Biden administration changed its position on U.S. fighter jets, allowing NATO allies to send US-made aircraft like the F-16 to Ukraine.
The University of Maryland survey, conducted between June 15 and June 28 with a margin of error of two percent, found a bipartisan majority of 73 percent approved of this move. Among these, were 63 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of Democrats, and 64 percent of independents.
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