What are the foreign policy preferences of Pure Independents in the US?

Foreign Policy Preferences of ‘Pure Independents’ in the US

With the 2024 presidential election approaching, the political landscape is buzzing with uncertainty. One group that has garnered significant attention is “pure Independents” — voters who do not align strongly with either the Democratic or Republican parties. Recent polls suggest that a significant number of these voters are shifting their support away from former President Donald Trump and towards current President Joe Biden.

Who are Pure Independents?

Among the 39% of Americans who identify as Independents, 53% (21% of Americans overall) consider themselves “pure Independents.” These voters do not lean towards either major party and represent a sizable portion of the electorate.

Foreign Policy Views of Pure Independents

While pure Independents do not necessarily have strong partisan affiliations, their foreign policy preferences often align more closely with Republican stances. In the 2023 Chicago Council Survey, these voters expressed the following views:

  • US Role in the World: A majority of pure Independents (57%) believe the United States should stay out of world affairs. This view is more akin to the Republican position (53%), while Democrats overwhelmingly support an active US role (75%).
  • Costs and Benefits of US Global Engagement: Pure Independents tend to prioritize the costs of maintaining the US’s global presence (54%), with only 44% believing the benefits outweigh the expenses.
  • Aid to Ukraine: Pure Independents are divided on whether the US should continue providing military (49%) and economic (48%) aid to Ukraine.
  • NATO Commitment: A majority (66%) support the US’s commitment to NATO, aligning with Republicans (68%) and Democrats (92%).
  • Use of US Troops: When it comes to using US troops to defend NATO allies, pure Independents are less supportive than Democrats. They are split on defending Germany (46% support, 51% oppose) and the Baltic NATO states (46% support, 53% oppose).
  • Defense of South Korea: Pure Independents overwhelmingly oppose (62%) the use of US troops to defend South Korea in case of an invasion by North Korea.

Implications for the 2024 Election

While foreign policy is not likely to be a major factor in the upcoming election, these findings suggest that pure Independents do not fully align with the Democratic Party’s international agenda. However, it is important to note that these voters are less engaged with politics and may not participate in the election.

Ultimately, the foreign policy preferences of pure Independents remain a complex and evolving picture that could impact the 2024 race. As the election draws near, candidates will undoubtedly need to address these voters’ concerns and find ways to appeal to their independent views on global affairs.

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