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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Polarized Attitudes Toward NATO and Ukraine

  Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses foreign influence and Trump's attack on democracy.  Russia helped Trump through 2020.  As Russia began its latest invasion of Ukraine, Trump lavished praise on Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. 

As NATO approaches its 75th anniversary, Americans are increasingly divided in their views about the alliance. Most continue to believe the United States benefits from its membership, but partisan differences on ratings of NATO have widened in recent years.

Three-quarters of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents rate the organization favorably, while only 43% of Republicans and Republican leaners agree – down from 55% in a 2022 survey conducted soon after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Attitudes toward the war in Ukraine have evolved to reflect the partisan polarization found across so many issues in U.S. politics. Democrats and Republicans differ sharply on views about aid to Ukraine, ratings of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and whether supporting Ukraine helps or hurts U.S. interests.

The share of Americans who believe the U.S. is not providing enough support to Ukraine has risen slightly in recent months, following setbacks for Ukraine on the battlefield and prolonged congressional debate over sending aid. (The survey was conducted before President Joe Biden signed into law an aid package sending nearly $61 billion to the Ukrainian war effort.)

Roughly one-quarter of Americans (24%) now say the U.S. is not providing enough aid, up from 18% in November 2023, when we last asked this question. Still, more Americans (31%) think the U.S. is providing too much aid, and 25% believe it’s giving the right amount.

However, views on this issue vary considerably by party. While the share of Democrats who believe the U.S. is not doing enough to help Ukraine declined after the initial onset of the war, it has increased more recently. Currently, 36% of Democrats say the U.S. is not providing enough aid.

In contrast, just 13% of Republicans say the U.S. is not giving enough support to Ukraine, while 49% believe it is giving too much. At the beginning of the war, Republican attitudes were essentially the reverse: 49% said the U.S. was not providing enough aid and 9% said it was providing too much. Among Republicans, conservatives are more likely than moderates and liberals to say the U.S. is providing too much aid to Ukraine.