The share of Americans who say Ukraine is winning the war against Russia has grown in recent weeks

Linley SandersData Journalist
May 20, 2022, 4:57 PM GMT+0

Americans have become even more likely to say that Ukraine is winning the war against Russia in recent weeks. Sympathies in the U.S. have always been with Ukraine, but in this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll, twice as many Americans now say Ukraine is winning as say Russia is.

When this question was first asked in mid-March, opinions were reversed: 29% of Americans saw Russia as the winner, and just 19% said Ukraine. The share who say that neither side is winning the war has stayed steady: 31% said this, according to the poll conducted March 19 - 22, and 29% say it now.

By a similar margin, Americans believe Ukraine will eventually win (36% say Ukraine, 17% say Russia). This increase in belief that Ukraine will succeed in the war extends to other questions, as well. By a margin of 45% to 17%, Americans expect that in a year Ukraine will still be an independent nation, and not be under Russian control. By a margin of more than three to one, they expect Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to still be president then.

Democrats (62%) are more likely than Republicans (48%) to say Zelensky will remain in power in a year, but members of each party are still more likely than not to believe this.

As for Russia President Vladimir Putin, Americans are now divided evenly on whether or not he will still be in power next year. One-third (32%) say Putin will still be Russia’s president in a year, but 31% say he will not. Last week, the comparable numbers were 36% and 25%.

There is still concern about what happens in the European conflict. Americans support Ukraine, Sweden, and Finland joining NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization), something that the latter two nations have submitted applications for in recent weeks. Most Americans, including 70% of Democrats and 57% of Republicans, call this a good idea for the U.S. to support.

Americans also are more likely than not to support U.S. sanctions on Russia, as well as sending financial aid and weapons to Ukraine. At least two in five (42%) want the U.S. to get even tougher in its response. But most don’t think the war will be over soon, and more than half believe the conflict will turn into a larger war. Will the U.S. also be at war with Russia? More than one-third (37%) say a U.S.-Russia war is likely, and another 7% say it is already underway.

— Taylor Orth and Carl Bialik contributed to this article

Related: Putin's invasion of Ukraine unites Democrats and Republicans against him and Russia

This poll was conducted on May 15 - 17, 2022, among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this Economist/YouGov poll.

Image: Pexels by Mathias Reding