Most North Carolinians support Sanctions against Russia

Published March 24, 2022

By East Carolina University Poll

The Center for Survey Research (CSR) at East Carolina University (ECU) conducted a statewide survey of North Carolinians about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent U.S. responses. The survey of 850 adults (with a credibility interval, similar to a margin of error of ± 3.9 percentage points) was conducted from March 11-13, 2022.

Events involving foreign affairs, especially those that do not involve American soldiers or civilians, often fail to attract attention or generate concern among the general public. This is not the case when it comes to North Carolinians’ opinions regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to the results of the ECU Poll, 88% of North Carolina adults report being aware of the invasion, and of those people who are aware of the invasion, almost seven out of ten (69%) consider Russia a “serious risk” to the national security of the United States. Also, four-in-ten North Carolinians (39%) are “very worried” that Russia will use nuclear weapons against Ukraine and another 43% are “somewhat worried.” Only 19% are not worried.

But how do North Carolinians feel about the U.S. response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine? Overall, there is mostly bipartisan support for the steps that the U.S. government has taken against Russia. Specifically, about three out of four (76%) said they favor U.S. economic sanctions against Russia, while a similarly high percentage (79%) agrees with the U.S. ban on oil imported from Russia. On the question of whether these sanctions will improve the chances of ending the Russian attacks against Ukraine, there is less optimism and less bipartisanship. A little more than half (51%) of Democrats believe the sanctions will improve the chances of ending Russian attacks against Ukraine, but only 29% of Republicans share that opinion. (Independents stood out as the group most likely to be “unsure,” at 37% compared to 15% for both Republicans and Democrats.)

In addition, two-thirds (66%) of North Carolinians think the U.S. should assist Ukraine by providing them with military weapons and ammunition. There is less support for direct involvement on the part of the United States, with some partisan difference of opinion. For example, although a slim majority (54%) believes the U.S. should enforce a “no-fly zone” over Ukrainian airspace, slightly more Republicans (60%) support it than Democrats (52%). On the other hand, opposition to committing U.S. troops to Ukraine is quite strong and bipartisan. A minority of Republicans (31%), Democrats (35%), and independents (28%) believe the U.S. should put military boots on the ground in Ukraine.

The bipartisan support in North Carolina for the economic sanctions against Russia is strong enough that citizens are willing to pay at the gas pump. Among those who are in favor of the ban on Russian oil, four out of five (80%) say they will continue to support the ban even if the price of gas increases to $5.00 a gallon. This support declines to 65% if the price of gas increases to $6.00 a gallon.

This bipartisan support does not carry over to President Biden. Only 35% of North Carolinians approve of the overall job Joe Biden is doing as president, and the approval of his handling of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is only 37%.


This poll was conducted March 11-13, 2022. The sample consisted of 850 residents of North Carolina, with a Credibility Interval (CI), similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of ± 3.9 percentage points. The data were weighted by age, education, race, gender, voting history, and mode. Data were collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines (n=445) and an online panel provided by Lucid (n=405).