More now favor increased US international engagement: Survey

Most Americans now say they want the U.S. to be more engaged on the world stage, with support for that position rising 12 percentage points in the last six months, according to a new survey by the Ronald Reagan Institute.

In the May survey, released Monday, 54 percent of Americans said they want the U.S. to be more engaged and lead in international events, up from 42 percent in the November survey. One-third of Americans said the U.S. should “be less engaged and react to events,” the same as six months ago.

The increase in support for a more engaged foreign policy position extends across demographic groups but is driven largely by Democrats and younger Americans.

Two-thirds of Democrats (66 percent) said they want the U.S. more engaged and leading on the world stage, up 20 points from November. Independents also saw a notable increase, with 41 percent expressing this view, up 15 points from November. A plurality of Republicans (48.5 percent) shared this view, up 4 points from November.

Pollsters at Beacon Research and Shaw & Company Research, which conducted the survey on behalf of the Reagan Institute, said Democrats’ sharper rise in support for this position is “likely because they are receiving and accepting pro-engagement messages from the Biden administration.”

The change in the last six months is also very pronounced among younger and non-college educated Americans.

More than half (53 percent) of Americans under the age of 30 want the U.S. to engage more in world events, up 24 points from November. Among adults ages 30-44, support is similar, at 54 percent, an increase of 17 points from November.

Half (50 percent) of Americans without a college degree support this position now, up 15 points from November.

According to the pollsters, younger and non-college educated Americans were more inclined to hold isolationist views in the previous survey, bringing their views mostly in line with mainstream opinions.

Since the previous poll in November, the Biden administration’s fight to get Ukraine aid through Congress came increasingly into focus, with officials warning for months that Ukraine could lose the war without it.

The recent poll seems to suggest their message got through.

For the first time, Americans see Ukraine as losing the war, with 39 percent saying Russia is winning and 19 percent saying Ukraine is winning. In November, 34 percent of Americans said Ukraine was winning, compared to 31 percent who said Russia was.

At the same time, only 7 percent of Americans say they want Russia to win the war, compared to 59 percent who want Ukraine to win and 34 percent who don’t know or say neither.

The survey was conducted on May 20-27 and included 1,257 respondents. The margin of error is +/- 2.8 percentage points.

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