Poll: Majority of Americans Back Ukraine in NATO
Despite what you might assume from Twitter
By a 4-1 margin, Americans view NATO favorably, according to the RealClear Opinion Research poll. Asked whether NATO remains essential to U.S. national security, 77% answered yes, with 23% saying it is no longer needed.
Created in 1949 to counter Soviet expansionism, NATO has expanded since the end of the Cold War, a move President Vladimir Putin has cited as a pretext for Russia’s invasion. Americans are unpersuaded by such claims. A majority (54%) support adding Ukraine to the Western alliance, despite the apocalyptic threats emanating from the Kremlin. Only 24% of voters think it’s a bad idea, with 22% unsure or expressing no opinion.
When it comes to Sweden, likely the next nation to be added to NATO, American opinion is overwhelmingly in favor. Swedes, who remained studiously neutral through much of the Cold War, have expressed alarm over Russia’s recent belligerence. Americans express solicitude with such fears: More than two-thirds of U.S. voters (68%) support Sweden’s inclusion in NATO, with only 10% opposed.
But the picture on China is less clear:
On the toughest question contemplated by Congress and the administration – how the U.S. should respond if China invades Taiwan – no consensus emerges among the electorate.
A slight plurality (39%) say the U.S. should take military action in case of an invasion from the mainland, while 35% say it should not. The rest, 27%, are unsure, which sums up official Washington’s ambivalence as well. A partisan gap exists on this question, although it’s not huge. Republicans are more in favor of interceding to protect Taiwan (46%), with independents at 36% and Democrats at 34%. The more significant split on this question is between men and women, with 49% of male voters favoring military action in response to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Among women, only 29% favor such a U.S. response.
Notwithstanding their qualms about war, U.S. voters expressed a great deal of confidence that the U.S. would succeed in an armed conflict with China, Russia, or North Korea. Regarding China, 79% think the U.S. would “definitely” (26%) or probably” (53%) win a war against China, compared to 13% who say the U.S. “could but will not win,” and the 8% who think the U.S. would not win. The breakdown is similar when it comes to Russia or North Korea. A pronounced gender difference appears in the data, however, with men expressing much greater confidence than women about the United States’ ability to prevail on the battlefield.
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