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Americans can still tell the good guys from the bad guys

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Learn more about Igor Khrestin .
Igor Khrestin
Bradford M. Freeman Managing Director of Global Policy
George W. Bush Institute

Americans are still pretty good at distinguishing the good guys from the bad guys despite what some in the media and on Capitol Hill believe. Those are the encouraging findings of the latest national survey conducted by a leading Democratic polling firm, Hart Research, last month.   

The survey found Americans are united on key foreign policy issues, including continuing U.S. support for Ukraine’s fight for freedom and countering our chief authoritarian adversaries, Russia and China. In fact, the favorability contest between Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky versus Russian President Vladimir Putin and China’s leader President Xi Jinping wasn’t remotely close (58% favorable for Zelensky versus  5% and 4%, respectively, for Putin and Xi), likely much to the disappointment of our Tokyo Rose troubadours of the Ukraine war. Likewise, support for the U.S. remaining in the North Atlantic Alliance Treaty (NATO) remained strong, prevailing by a 40% margin.  

In the face of the fountain of disinformation about Ukraine and other global issues, much of it parroting Kremlin talking points, Americans have largely held fast across party lines. The survey found that 76% of Americans expressed support for Ukraine defeating Russia in this war, while also supporting Ukraine’s victory without any territorial concessions to Russia by a 3-1 margin.  

Two-thirds of Americans thought Ukraine’s victory will be “more likely than not.”. But make no mistake, even with this encouraging consensus on Ukraine, our national political divisions were still displayed in full view. Of those who self-identified as “MAGA Republicans,” the majority (51%) of the same opposed providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, versus 33% of “non-MAGA” Republicans and 30% of independents.  

This latest survey is a useful reminder that strengthening democracy both at home and abroad should remain a top priority to our civic and national leaders, including combating disinformation on all sides of the political spectrum. Likewise, this survey makes evident that Americans understand that supporting democracy and freedom abroad makes us safer at home. This includes a strong bipartisan showing for helping Ukraine in its fight for freedom and distaste for authoritarians in Moscow and Beijing that repress their own people and threaten these very freedoms that Americans of all stripes hold dear.