American voters consistently view Russia as a major geopolitical adversary — but stark partisan divides emerge when it comes to defending American democracy against Russian interference, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) in northwest D.C.
Voters reject the Trump administration’s case against action on climate change and a strong majority of Americans support America investing more in clean energy at home and working with allies to fight climate change, according to the report.
In gathering information for the report, CAP officials looked at the attitudes of American voters based on new findings in their research.
The country needs to invest in America’s workers and stay true to its values of freedom and opportunity for all so that the U.S. can remain strong and competitive in the world, the study authors found.
America must make new investments in its own infrastructure, education, and health care to successfully compete against China and take new steps to build strong alliances with Europe and Asia to help respond to China’s rise, according to the study.
Also, America is safer and stronger when it works together with allies to address shared global challenges such as international terrorism, climate change, and new threats such as cyberwarfare. The study also noted that America must make new investments in its own infrastructure, education, and health care to successfully compete against China.
“America on its own cannot address the biggest problems in the world today — such as climate change, migration, terrorism, global disease, and the spread of nuclear weapons — and we must work closely with our international allies to confront these problems together,” CAP officials wrote.
The report noted that nearly all voters — 95 percent — in the survey agreed with the idea that the United States needs to invest more in its workers and stay true to its values at home to remain strong and competitive in the world.
An additional two-thirds, or 68 percent, of American voters say that the United States should invest more in renewable and clean energy sources to combat climate change regardless of other nations’ actions, rather than further exploit America’s fossil fuel resources.
American voters strongly desire a steadier hand, greater cooperation with U.S. allies, and less of a unilateral approach to U.S. foreign policy.
Voters clearly desire greater cooperation with the United States’ allies and more coordinated efforts with other nations to tackle problems, such as terrorism, climate change, and migration, that cross domestic borders.
The vast majority of voters are opposed to continued unilateral disruption and erosion of international norms and treaties. Additionally, American voters desperately want a national economic investment plan to help the United States compete in the world.
The study also found that China is the biggest competitor in the eyes of Americans. But two-thirds, or 67 percent, of Americans see strong alliances — not trade wars — as the best way to counter unfair Chinese trade practices and government subsidies.
Virtually all American voters — 94 percent — believe that the United States must take new steps to build alliances in Europe and Asia to help respond to China’s rise.
Similar unanimity, at 93 percent, exists when it comes to working with allies to address shared global challenges such as terrorism and climate change.
Voters also prefer progressive approaches to immigration and climate change over the more divisive policy options offered by conservative nationalists.
Harsh takes on border control and the exploitation of domestic fossil fuels over clean energy solutions fail to win over most voters, according to the report’s authors.
On immigration, nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent, of Americans favor comprehensive immigration reform with a safe, legal and managed path to citizenship over an alternative approach centered on a massive border wall and financial penalties imposed on Mexico if it doesn’t reduce migration.
This includes more than eight in 10 Democrats and two-thirds of independents, as well as six in 10 Republicans.
More than eight in 10 (83 percent) Democrats, two-thirds (66 percent) of millennials, and a majority (51 percent) of independents favor aid to Central American nations as a way to reduce migration over the more hardline approach.
“The main goal of this research was to understand the attitudes of American voters on foreign policy — including how these attitudes are shaped and what issues matter the most to voters,” wrote the report’s authors, Brian Katulis, a CAP senior fellow, Peter Juul, a CAP senior policy analyst for national security and international policy, and John Halpin, a senior fellow at the CAP.
“In exploring these views, CAP sought to inform the country’s current foreign policy debate with empirical data on the views of American voters with the hopes that this would contribute to better policies and ideas with the support of the American public,” they wrote.
To view the full report, go to cdn.americanprogress.org.