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Nuclear fears in US amid Russia-Ukraine war: AP-NORC poll

Nuclear fears inside US amid Russia-Ukraine war: AP-NORC poll

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia's war on Ukraine has most Americans at least somewhat worried that the U.S. will exist drawn straight into the dispute with every one other accompanied by could exist targeted accompanied by nuclear weapons, accompanied by a new poll reflecting a flat of worry that has echoes of the Cold War era.

Close to fifty per cent of of Americans speak they are extremely worried that Russia would straight mark the U.S. accompanied by nuclear weapons, with every one other accompanied by an additional 3 inside 10 are somewhat worried concerning that, according to the new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Russian President Vladimir Putin placed his country's nuclear forces on high alert in a short time following the Feb. 24 invasion.

Roughly 9 inside 10 Americans are at least somewhat worried that Putin strength use a nuclear weapon opposed to Ukraine, including concerning 6 inside 10 who are extremely concerned.

"He is not here of control, with every one other accompanied by I don't believe he really has be about for a a large amount of of anything nevertheless what he wants," said Robin Thompson, a former researcher from Amherst, Massachusetts. "And he has nuclear weapons."

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Seventy-one percent of Americans speak the invasion has increased the possibility of nuclear weapons actuality used anywhere inside the world.

The poll was conducted earlier to North Korea test-fired its biggest intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday nevertheless too shows 51% of Americans saying they are extremely worried concerning the threat to the U.S. posed by North Korea's nuclear program. An additional 29% expressed average concern.

Fear of nuclear war has been a fact of existence for decades. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has published its "Doomsday Clock" since 1947, showing a theoretical countdown to nuclear annihilation. The latest update, inside January, place the hour dated at 100 seconds to midnight — unchanged since 2020, nevertheless still closer than at some time to Armageddon.

It's difficult to measure the public's degree of terror over hour dated since polls use different methodologies or constitute questions inside different ways. Alex Wellerstein, a nuclear historian at the Stevens Institute of Technology inside New Jersey, said people regularly won't convey it up on their own nevertheless list it among concerns if specified the choice.

The fear, by the natural world enough, too tends to rise with every one other accompanied by let fall depending on what is happening around the world. "We have these moments that are type of high crisis periods," Wellerstein said. "And at that hour dated they go nearer with every one other accompanied by go, with every one other accompanied by people fail to remember that we had them."

One mainly high point, he said, was inside 1983, a hour dated of tension in the centre of the U.S. with every one other accompanied by the Soviet Union with every one other accompanied by the year that a extremely watched movie concerning nuclear war, "The Day After," earliest aired on TV inside the United States.

In the recent AP-NORC poll, near to fifty per cent of of Americans speak they are "extremely" or "very" worried that the U.S. strength exist drawn into a war accompanied by Russia. Roughly 4 inside 10 Americans said they are "somewhat" concerned.

The findings reflect not fair worry concerning what seems exist fond of a proxy war accompanied by Russia, flat if the U.S. isn't straight associated accompanied by inside the conflict, nevertheless too the unprecedented saturation coverage of the war into and not here of orthodox report outlets with every one other accompanied by communal media.

"We are seeing almost little while by little while what's happening to these poverty-stricken people," said Linda Woodward, a former phone firm technician from Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.

The be about concerning nuclear war cuts across communal gathering lines with every one other accompanied by flat resonates accompanied by some young adults who were born following the Cold War.

Caleb Pack, a 21-year-old Republican from Ardmore, Oklahoma, was among those who said that they were "somewhat concerned" that the U.S. would exist drawn into the war with every one other accompanied by that Russia would mark the United States accompanied by nuclear weapons.

"If Russia's extremity goal is to reclaim Soviet Union territory, that means they're going to push into NATO countries, which obviously I believe could escalate extremely quickly," said Pack, who works inside details systems.

Certainly, Russia hasn't taken steps to alleviate concerns. Putin issued what appeared to exist an ominous threat when he reminded the world inside a speech the day he launched the invasion that his country is "one of the most strong nuclear states."

In that context, be about is justified, said Tara Drozdenko, director of the worldwide safety program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. "Whenever you have nuclear-armed nations getting closer to conflict, there's always a chance of nuclear escalation," she said.

So far, NATO with every one other accompanied by the Biden management have been careful not to escalate the situation, Drozdenko said. But she believes the condition should use this hour dated to push for changes to boundary the risk. That would include adopting a ceremonial policy that the U.S. would not strike earliest accompanied by nuclear weapons, to lessen the chance of an fortuitous strike by an adversary, with every one other accompanied by taking the final power for a launch not here of the hands of the president alone.

Historian Wellerstein too sees a possible upside to the heightened condition of concern. He cited research showing that a crisis tin have the long-term effect of getting people additional engaged accompanied by an issue.

"This thing accompanied by Ukraine will naturally end, hopefully sooner by preference than later," he said. "This could exist an chance for getting a a large amount additional people, mainly younger people, invested inside this while a political issue."


The AP-NORC poll of 1,082 adults was conducted March 17-21 using a specimen drawn from NORC's probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to exist representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling mistake for all respondents is and or minus 4.0 percentage points.

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