03/29/2014 11:01 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Americans Support Russia Sanctions, Don't Think They Will Work

Most Americans support imposing sanctions on Russia as a result of Russia's recent actions in Ukraine, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds. But the poll shows few believe sanctions will actually discourage Russia from further action, and less than a third support sanctions if Russia's response might hurt the economy.

In response to an initial question, 60 percent of Americans in the poll said that they support imposing economic sanctions on Russia, while only 17 percent said that they were opposed. Another 22 percent said they weren't sure.

In a follow-up question, however, only 29 percent said they support imposing sanctions even if Russia retaliated in a way that would hurt the U.S. economy. Thirty-four percent said that they support imposing sanctions only if it won't hurt the U.S. economy, and 9 percent said they oppose imposing sanctions no matter what. Twenty-seven percent said they weren't sure.

A 45 percent to 25 percent plurality of Americans said they think Russia could in fact retaliate in a way that would hurt the economy.

Russia has so far retaliated against U.S. and E.U. sanctions aimed at Russian individuals, including government officials and lawmakers, by barring some U.S. officials and lawmakers from entering Russia. The response has mostly been met with derision by the individuals impacted.

Americans' unwillingness to sacrifice on the domestic front because of sanctions may stem in part from the fact that few think they will actually work. Only 5 percent of poll respondents said they thought economic sanctions against Russia would be very effective at preventing Russia from taking further action in Ukraine or other countries. Another 28 percent said it would be somewhat effective. A combined 47 percent said it would be not very effective (30 percent) or not at all effective (17 percent).

Few Americans are paying close attention to what's happening in Ukraine. Only 17 percent said they're following the events there very closely, 43 percent that they are following somewhat closely, 23 percent that they're not following closely and 16 percent that they're not following closely at all.

Because of Americans' inattention to the issue, their responses should be taken with a grain of salt. Another HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted earlier this month showed that despite despite not knowing key details of the situation, some Americans were willing to answer questions about the Ukraine crisis -- and even nonexistent legislation. About the same percentage of Americans in that poll said they were paying close attention to the issue.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted March 25-27 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling.



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