President Joe Biden’s trip to Europe has multiple goals. The president will meet with many world leaders, ranging from NATO, EU and G7 allies, to Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the meetings, he will seek to reinforce the United States’ “shared democratic values” while bolstering key alliances.
At least one ambition of Biden’s – to cement relations with NATO – has the support of Americans in the latest Economist/YouGov poll, although many Republicans remain skeptical of the organization. That skepticism increased during Donald Trump’s presidency, when he criticized NATO for not contributing enough to the group members’ mutual defense.
Nearly half the public now has a favorable opinion of NATO (48% positive vs 28% negative), but that is up only slightly from two years ago (44% vs 25%), with Republicans today remaining negative (34% positive, 46% negative).
While Republicans are negative toward NATO, they agree by better than two to one (52% to 24%) that the United States must maintain its commitment to defend any NATO member that has been attacked. Even in the middle of the Trump presidency, when as many Republicans wanted to withdraw from NATO as remain in the alliance, most Republicans believed the U.S. should keep that defense commitment to members of the alliance.
Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between June 6 - 8, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 2.8% for the overall sample.