Researchers at the University of South Florida have released results from a nationwide survey that measures attitudes related to a variety of national security topics. The findings include opinions about the violence in the Middle East, the war in Ukraine and the handling of classified information by elected officials.
Among the findings:
Most Americans support providing military aid to Israel, but oppose committing American troops to fight directly against Hamas:
- A majority (59%) supports providing military aid to Israel in the form of weapons and ammunition, but a similar number (59%) say that they would oppose “committing troops to fight on the ground against Hamas in Palestine.”
- A majority in both parties (66%) support the United States providing humanitarian aid to Palestinians affected by the conflict.
- While a plurality of respondents (44%) feel that Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 attacks has been “appropriate,” a quarter of Democrats (25%) feel that Israel’s response has been “too aggressive,” and 28% of Republicans feel that the response “has not been aggressive enough.”
Most Americans are anxious that fighting in the Middle East could expand:
- A large, bipartisan majority (82%) is concerned that the fighting between Israel and Hamas “could lead to a broader war in the Middle East.”
- A similar bipartisan majority (79%) is concerned that the United States could be drawn into a military conflict in the Middle East due to the fighting between Israel and Hamas.
A majority of eligible voters view Ukraine as an “ally” (48%) or “partner” (23%) to the United States, while most (60%) describe Russia as an “enemy.” However, when it comes to military aid, Democrats and Republicans are divided on what should be done:
- Most Democrats believe that America’s financial and military support of Ukraine has been “worth the cost” (57%), while 50% of Independents and 58% of Republicans disagree.
- Two-thirds of Democrats (68%) support providing additional military aid to Ukraine, while 55% of Republicans oppose doing so. Independents are divided on the issue (48% support /43% oppose).
- A majority of Democrats (61%) support the United States fulfilling Ukraine’s request for military fighter jets, while most Republicans (56%) oppose doing so. Independents are more evenly divided on the issue (43% support /45% oppose).
- A small majority of Democrats (52%) prefer a presidential candidate who promises to provide additional military aid to Ukraine, while only 22% of Republicans say the same. A plurality of GOP voters (45%) say that they prefer a candidate who promises to stop providing military aid to Ukraine.
A majority of voters in both parties are concerned about the risks of a military conflict with Russia:
- Three quarters of Americans (75%) say that they are concerned about the possibility of the United States being drawn into a military conflict with Russia over our support of Ukraine (including a majority of Democrats, Republicans and Independents).
- More than two-thirds (69%) are concerned that our ongoing support of Ukraine could harm America’s own military readiness (including 60% of Democrats, 78% of Republicans and 67% of Independents).
A majority of Americans expressed dissatisfaction with the job that President Biden is doing on key policy issues:
- Jobs and the Economy: 41% Approve 56% Disapprove
- Foreign Policy: 37% Approve 57% Disapprove
- Immigration/Border Security: 30% Approve 64% Disapprove
- Unifying Americans: 36% Approve 55% Disapprove
Most Americans feel that more needs to be done to ensure the security of classified information in the hands of elected officials:
- A bipartisan plurality (47%) says that the United States does not have strong enough laws to govern the handling of classified documents by elected officials.
- A bipartisan majority (59%) says that the laws governing how elected officials handle classified documents are not adequately enforced.
- Most Republicans (59%) think that the laws governing how elected officials handle classified documents are not equally applied to Democrats and Republicans. A plurality of Independents (45%) say the same, while a small majority of Democrats (51%) disagree.
Most Americans say that elected officials found “guilty” of mishandling classified documents should not be allowed to hold public office in the future:
- A two-thirds majority (69%) of eligible voters – including 85% of Democrats, 70% of Independents and 51% of Republicans – say that elected officials who are found “guilty” in court of mishandling classified documents should be disqualified from holding public office in the future.
- Nearly half (48%) say that Biden probably violated the law with regard to his handling of classified documents.
- A majority (59%) say that Donald Trump probably violated the law with regard to his handling of classified documents.
The survey included a representative sample of 1,200 eligible voters, fielded Oct. 23-Oct. 28, 2023. Results are reported with a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error +/- 2.7%.
The complete survey results can be found here.