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Nearly half of American voters think the US is spending too much on aid for Ukraine, according to a poll that underscores the waning of support at home as Volodymyr Zelenskyy prepares to visit Washington to lobby for additional funding.
The latest FT-Michigan Ross poll found that 48 percent believe the US is spending “too much” on military and financial aid to bolster Kyiv’s war effort against Russia, compared to 27 percent who say Washington is spending “the right amount” and 11 percent who say the US is not spending enough.
Opposition is particularly pronounced among Republicans, with 65 percent saying the US spends too much on Ukraine, compared to nearly half – 52 percent – of independents and only a third – 32 percent – of Democrats.
The findings come as Biden struggles to persuade a tightly divided Congress to approve a $111bn security spending package that will include about $60bn for Kyiv, as well as funding for in Israel and Taiwan.
It also comes as Zelenskyy is due to visit Washington for a meeting with Biden on Tuesday to “underline the unwavering commitment of the United States” to the country’s war effort, according to the White House.
The poll also paints a strong picture for pro-Ukraine Republicans in Congress, who are struggling to find a compromise that will get the funding approved. In an effort to appease Republicans, the White House proposal includes billions of dollars to increase security on the US-Mexico border.
Republican strategist Doug Heye said future US aid to Ukraine was “in doubt”, adding: “Republicans in Congress are where their voters are on this.”
Although there was increased support in the FT-Michigan Ross poll for aid to Israel, the survey found significant levels of skepticism for helping the Jewish state in its war against Hamas. Forty percent said the US spends “too much” on military and financial aid to Israel, while 30 percent said Washington spends “the right amount”.
The high level of opposition to military aid for Israel and Ukraine comes against a backdrop of continued concern about the state of the American economy, with only 25 percent of respondents saying the state of the economy is US can be “good” or “very good”.
Americans continue to point to high inflation as their biggest concern when it comes to their finances, although the poll found less optimism about economic conditions compared to last month’s results.
However, a gloomy outlook continues to weigh on Biden’s re-election prospects, with only 17 percent of Americans believing they are better off financially since he became president, while 53 percent said they were worse.
That’s a marginal improvement compared to last month, when 14 percent of Americans said they were better off financially with Biden in the White House, and 55 percent said they were worse off.
Rising consumer spending poses a significant challenge for the president, who has tried to count on strong jobs and GDP numbers and branded his ambitious industrial strategy “Bidenomics”.
The FT-Michigan Ross poll was conducted online by Democratic strategists Global Strategy Group and Republican polling firm North Star Opinion Research between December 5 and 6. It reflects the opinions of 1,004 registered voters nationwide, and has a margin of error. which is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.