Poll: Majority in US See Relations With Adversaries Souring

October 11, 2022by Ellen Knickmeyer and Nuha Dolby, Associated Press
Poll: Majority in US See Relations With Adversaries Souring
President Joe Biden speaks to the media before boarding Air Force One at Des Moines International Airport, in Des Moines, Iowa, April 12, 2022, en route to Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A majority of U.S. adults expect America’s relations with foreign adversaries like Russia and North Korea to grow more hostile, according to a new poll, a major shift in public opinion from four years ago under President Donald Trump.

Two years into the Biden administration, 60% of U.S. adults say relations with adversaries will get worse, up from 26% four years ago at the same point in the Trump administration, according to the poll from the Pearson Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Just 21% say relationships with allies will deteriorate, down from 46% then.

In general, 39% expect the country’s global standing to worsen, compared with 48% who said that in 2018. Crucially, the United States’ own sharply divided domestic politics influences views of the country’s standing abroad.

“Those results really, clearly show that it’s hyperpartisanship” affecting how confidently or bleakly, respectively, Democrats and Republicans see the U.S. standing abroad, said Sheila Kohanteb, a political scientist and executive director of the Global Forum at the Chicago-based Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts.


In terms of the opinions that people in the U.S. are expressing on U.S. dealings abroad, the key factor is “political bloc sticking with political bloc,” Kohanteb said.

Four years ago, three-quarters of Democrats expected U.S. global standing to suffer. Now, roughly that same percentage see stability or improvement in the near future. By comparison, about 6 in 10 Republicans predicted improvements in 2018; now that same percentage expect the current administration to stumble.

Other countries are “probably laughing at us, waiting for us to fall apart,” said Kristy Woodard, a 30-year-old Republican in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She said she saw the economy and U.S. leadership as suffering under President Joe Biden.

“I don’t think we really have allies anymore because the United States is just a joke at this point,” Woodard said.

But David Dvorin, a 49-year-old Democrat in Pittsburgh who works as a price specialist, said Biden was winning respect abroad by rallying international allies to respond to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The war in Ukraine has shown the leadership of the Biden administration, to be able to hold most of Europe together,” Dvorin said.

Still, as Russia amps up its assault on Ukraine, tensions with China grow over Taiwan and other issues and the U.S. confronts North Korea and Iran over those countries’ nuclear programs, similar percentages of Republicans and Democrats say that relationships with adversaries will get worse in the next year.


The Pearson Institute/AP-NORC poll also shows strong support for a U.S. foreign policy that protects women and minorities around the world — even though few people think the U.S. is doing a world-beating job of protecting those same interests at home.

Majorities of U.S. adults said they see preventing discrimination against women and minorities around the world as an important U.S. foreign policy goal and that the U.S. government has significant responsibility for protecting the rights of those groups. And 78% of people in the United States believe the U.S. should withhold financial support from other countries that are failing to protect the rights of women and minority groups.

However, only about 1 in 5 U.S. adults thinks the country is leading the world in safeguarding the rights of women and racial, ethnic and religious minorities, or LGBTQ people. Many think the U.S. is among several countries that are doing it well, but about a third say there are other countries doing better.

Rick Reinesch, 61, of Austin, Texas, who works as a project manager for a consulting firm and describes himself as a Democratic-leaning political independent, calls safeguarding the freedoms of women and minorities abroad “essential” for the U.S.

But the increasing Republican and Democratic divide at home means Americans’ performance on that point is a “mixed bag,” with rights deteriorating in states most influenced by former President Donald Trump’s dismissive outlook, he said.

Chris Ormsby, 53, of Edmond, Oklahoma, an administrator in higher education who describes himself as a political independent, pointed to women’s rights in Iran, where women are spearheading weeks of protests triggered by government demands that women cover their hair, as among the rights issues playing out overseas.

“Maybe we can take more proactive steps” abroad on that, Ormsby said. But “I think there’s other things to worry about, nuclear proliferation and things like that.” He called slowing climate change by moving the world away from fossil fuels a priority for U.S. policy abroad.

That all makes for a strange split for those charged with shaping America’s policy on protections of human rights, Kohanteb, the Pearson Institute official, said.

“American policy is not as adamant about protecting our own rights as Americans believe we should be doing abroad,” she said.


___

Dolby reported from New York.

A+
a-

Opinion Polls

Biden’s Next Climate Hurdle: Enticing Americans to Buy Green

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden persuaded Democrats in Congress to provide hundreds of billions of dollars to fight climate... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden persuaded Democrats in Congress to provide hundreds of billions of dollars to fight climate change. Now comes another formidable task: enticing Americans to buy millions of electric cars, heat pumps, solar panels and more efficient appliances. It’s a public relations... Read More

January 18, 2023
by Dan McCue
Poll Finds Split Over Politics Is ‘Dirty’ or ‘Honorable’

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. — When it comes to the government, you can’t get much more divided than this. According... Read More

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. — When it comes to the government, you can’t get much more divided than this. According to a Monmouth University Poll released Wednesday 44% of respondents believe politics and government is “a dirty business,” while an equal number still consider engagement in... Read More

Twitter Poll Closes With Users Voting for Musk Exit as Chief

More than half of 17.5 million users who responded to a Twitter poll created by billionaire Elon Musk over whether... Read More

More than half of 17.5 million users who responded to a Twitter poll created by billionaire Elon Musk over whether he should step down as head of the company had voted yes by the time the poll closed Monday. There was no immediate announcement from Twitter,... Read More

December 14, 2022
by Dan McCue
Most Americans Have Low Expectations for New Congress, Pollster Finds

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – A majority of Americans expect little change when Republicans take control of Congress in January,... Read More

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – A majority of Americans expect little change when Republicans take control of Congress in January, and four out of five said their expectations that Congress will effectively conduct the people’s business remains low. Those opinions were captured in the latest Monmouth... Read More

Tennesseans Misunderstand Abortion Law, Want Exceptions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Most registered voters in Tennessee want exceptions for rape or incest in the state's sweeping abortion ban,... Read More

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Most registered voters in Tennessee want exceptions for rape or incest in the state's sweeping abortion ban, but they largely don't know the specifics of what's in the law as it stands today, according to new Vanderbilt University polling. The disconnect comes in... Read More

Biden Approval, Views of Economy Steady, Sour: AP-NORC Poll

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fresh off his party’s better-than-anticipated performance in the midterm elections, President Joe Biden is facing consistent but critical assessments of... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fresh off his party’s better-than-anticipated performance in the midterm elections, President Joe Biden is facing consistent but critical assessments of his leadership and the national economy. A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds 43% of U.S. adults say they approve... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top