Whom Americans think Biden and Trump favor in the Russia-Ukraine and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts

David MontgomerySenior data journalist
December 20, 2023, 8:53 PM GMT+0

Most Americans see Joe Biden as sympathizing with the Ukrainians in their war with Russia, but many aren't so sure about Donald Trump. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Americans are more likely to see both Biden and Trump as siding with the Israelis, but more Americans see Trump as pro-Israeli than see Biden the same way.

Overall, 68% of Americans think Joe Biden sympathizes more with the Ukrainians, compared to just 4% who say he sympathizes more with Russia and 8% who think he's not more sympathetic with either side.

Opinions of Trump's views are much more mixed. 21% of Americans see Trump as sympathizing more with Ukraine, while 30% see him as pro-Russia and 20% as taking neither's side.

Part of this correlates with partisanship. 56% of Democrats see Trump as sympathizing more with Russia, compared to just 5% of Republicans. Democrats are more likely to see Biden as pro-Ukrainian, though majorities across the political spectrum feel this way.

Americans themselves are more likely to sympathize with Ukraine: 65% are pro-Ukrainian, with 3% pro-Russia and 20% supporting neither side. Democrats are more likely to be pro-Ukrainian, but majorities of Independents and Republicans also sympathize more with Ukraine.

When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 34% of Americans see Joe Biden as being pro-Israeli, while 12% see Biden as pro-Palestinian and 22% as about equally sympathetic with both sides. Trump is slightly more likely to be seen as pro-Israeli, with 43% saying he sympathizes more with Israel, 4% with the Palestinians, and 13% equally with both sides.

Democrats are more likely to say Biden sympathizes more with Israel or with both sides, while Republicans are more likely to say Trump is pro-Israel.

Overall, Americans lean toward Israel, with 38% more sympathetic with the Israelis, 12% with the Palestinians, and 28% equally with both sides.

See the toplines and crosstabs from the Economist/YouGov poll conducted on December 16 - 18, 2023 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens.

Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to November 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3.5%.

Image: Getty