Reagan Foundation poll signals support for boosting defense spending

By Tony Bertuca / November 30, 2023 at 11:34 AM

The Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, a few days in advance of a high-profile gathering of national security insiders in Simi Valley, CA, has released the results of a national survey that has found Americans favor increased defense spending, including aid to Ukraine, despite some resistance being shown by members of Congress.

The survey, according to the Reagan Forum, “reveals a disconnect between the American public, with 77 percent supporting increased military spending, and debates in Congress over defense cuts.”

“A supermajority of Americans supports maintaining military bases around the world and fears budget cuts by Congress will threaten the military’s capabilities,” the foundation said.

The foundation said the poll was conducted between Oct. 27 and Nov. 5 and is based on 945 telephone interviews and more than 1,500 online surveys.

Additionally, the survey shows that a “a majority of Americans view China as the country that poses the greatest threat to the United States but are overconfident about U.S. military capabilities compared to China.”

The survey also found that Americans support increased military assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, while Congress -- especially the GOP-led House -- remains at odds over a $106 billion national security supplemental request sent by the White House.

“Support for Ukraine has remained consistent over the last three Reagan Institute surveys, despite the narrative about waning support for Ukraine,” the foundation said.

However, the survey found that “confidence in the military remains at record lows,” with only 46% of Americans reporting a “great deal of confidence” in the U.S. military, “a number that has plateaued after falling 25 points” from 70% in 2018, according to the foundation.