2023 Survey of Public Opinion on US Foreign Policy
The ongoing war in Ukraine continues to impact American attitudes toward global engagement.
The 2023 Chicago Council Survey, conducted September 7–18, finds US involvement in the war between Russia and Ukraine has played a role in American attitudes on foreign policy. Though still considerable, support for continued assistance to Kyiv has slipped from previous readings, and public support has also dampened for defending US allies and maintaining US military bases abroad.
Republicans, in particular, have grown more doubtful of the value of continued US engagement overseas. For the first time in nearly 50 years of Council polling, a majority of Republicans think the United States should stay out of world affairs rather than play an active part.
This decline among everyday Republicans likely reflects debates within the GOP leadership itself, which has become increasingly divided over the value of American financial commitments overseas, including continued assistance to Ukraine. The survey data further show that GOP questions about the value of continuing contributions to Kyiv—and Democratic unity on the issue—are likely influencing other traditional areas of foreign policy, which have been consistently bipartisan in past surveys. While Republicans have grown more skeptical about using US troops to defend allies in Europe, Democrats have become more supportive of doing so. These partisan divisions may continue and potentially grow as the war in Ukraine—and the US debate over support to Kyiv—continue.
But the data also show that Republicans who want to stay out of world affairs do not differ so much from those who prefer active engagement when it comes to issues such as the rise of China or immigration policy. Thus far, the effects of the debate over US involvement in the war in Ukraine seem to focus on differences on what priorities are most important for the United States to pursue in its foreign policy, the value of maintaining a US global military presence, and the use of US troops to defend allies in scenarios not involving top concerns for Republicans.
Explore more survey findings below.
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