In the midst of a major international conflict in Ukraine and an expansion of NATO in Europe, Americans have distinct opinions on the key players in the war. Majorities of U.S. adults have favorable views of Ukraine itself, as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and have confidence in Ukraine’s leader, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. At the same time, few have positive opinions of Russia or confidence in its ruler, President Vladimir Putin. And a 64% majority view Russia as an enemy to the United States, rather than as a competitor or partner.
Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are consistently more likely than Republicans and GOP leaners to hold a positive opinion of NATO. About three-quarters of Democrats (76%) have a favorable view of NATO, in contrast to 49% of Republicans. Among Republicans, moderates and liberals are more likely to have a favorable opinion of the alliance than conservatives. And liberal Democrats are more positive toward NATO than conservative and moderate supporters of the party.
The partisan divide on the issue of NATO is well established in past research. In 2022, Republicans grew more favorable toward NATO in the wake of Russia’s invasion. However, since then, Republicans have become less positive, with favorable ratings of the alliance declining 6 points. Democratic views of NATO have remained relatively steady since 2021.