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Polling on Peace Issues
Americans are tired of endless war and out of control Pentagon spending. Being pro-peace is a political advantage, not a liability.
- 63% of voters oppose an increase in military spending above Biden’s request.
- 55% of voters report they are “somewhat concerned” or “very concerned” about current proposals for $813 billion in defense spending next year.
- 83% of Democratic voters say Pentagon spending should not exceed current levels when thinking about proposals to increase funding, versus 8% who say military spending should be higher.
- When informed about how much the military is poised to receive, as compared to other agencies, 51% of Republican voters say the military budget should not be raised further, versus 37% who think too little is spent.
- 56% of U.S. adults support cutting Pentagon spending, and reinvesting those funds in pandemic recovery, health care, and jobs.
- A plurality of U.S. adults (47%) agree that spending $422 billion annually on defense contractors—more than half of the Pentagon budget—wastes public funds.
- 57% of U.S. adults agree that the U.S. should engage in dialogue with China—and reduce spending that would undermine talks.
- 50% of U.S. adults support cutting Pentagon spending on fossil fuels.
- When Americans were asked what the highest priority for increased funding should be, the military ranks fifth as a priority at 11%, behind healthcare (23%), border security (17%), education (15%), and infrastructure (14%).
- While 39% of Americans think the U.S. spends about the right amount on the military (with 26% believing it’s too much and 27% believing it’s too little), they overwhelmingly say too little is spent on all other listed priorities (with border security at 47%, healthcare at 56%, education at 58%, and infrastructure at 61%).
- A majority of the general public (60%), veterans (61%), and military households (64%), say military/defense spending should be decreased or kept the same.
- 57% of voters support cutting the defense budget by 10% to reallocate funding to the CDC and other more pressing domestic needs.
- A plurality (37%) think we should decrease Pentagon spending, compared with only 13% who think it should be increased. When a separate set of respondents was presented with the same question but with an initial sentence laying out the bleak national debt picture, the numbers rise significantly, with roughly half (49%) believing we should decrease Pentagon spending, and only 8% thinking we should increase it.
- Democratic sympathies in the Middle East now lie more with the Palestinians than the Israelis, 49% versus 38%..
- Sympathy toward the Palestinians is also at a new high among political independents, up six points to 32%. However, more independents still lean toward the Israelis (49%).
- There is a shifting view on the question among younger generations. Among millennials, 42% sympathize more with the Palestinians and 40% with the Israelis. There were too few adult Gen Z members in the poll, but the limited data suggest their views are similar to millennials.
- As a result, sympathy toward the Palestinians among U.S. adults is at a new high of 31%. It is the first time Israel has not enjoyed a better than 2-to-1 advantage over the Palestinians in Americans’ sympathies.
- 21% of Democrats say they side with the Palestinians and 19% with the Israelis; 34% say their sympathies are equally split.
- 76% of the people who took the poll believe that the U.S. should provide more humanitarian support to Ukraine.
- 72% oppose the U.S. taking direct military action on Russia.
- 80% are concerned about Russia’s use of nuclear weapons.
- Most Americans (62%) say they would oppose the U.S. “taking military action even if it risks a nuclear conflict with Russia.”
- Nearly seven-in-ten Americans (69%) favor admitting thousands of Ukrainian refugees into the U.S., including majorities of those in both parties.
- Americans oppose sending U.S. troops to Ukraine 61% to 39%.
- Americans oppose using airstrikes to support the Ukrainian army 60% to 40%.
- 62% of Americans believe it is worth paying more for fuel & gas because of sanctions against Russia to defend another democratic country.
- 77% of Americans support seizing the assets of Russian oligarchs affiliated with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- 70% of American adults were concerned (including 36% who were “very” concerned) that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine would lead to the use of nuclear weapons.
- Americans oppose sending U.S. troops to defend Ukraine, 71% to 29%.
- 78% of all voters believe the U.S. must use diplomatic tools to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Only 12% believed military action was the approach to take.
- 67% of all voters support a new agreement with Iran, as opposed to 20% who oppose it. This includes 82% of Democrats (vs. 10% opposed), 65% of Independents/Third Party (vs. 22% opposed), and 56% of Republicans (vs. 29% opposed).
- A clear majority of voters, 53%, said they supported the 2015 Iran deal, compared with only 24% who oppose it.
- Overall, a majority of Americans (56%) support the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as opposed to 26% who oppose it. Even by partisan breakdown, more voters across the board still support than oppose the deal—with 52%-26% of Independents, 43%-39% of Republicans, and 72%-13% of Democrats.
- Overall, 42% of Americans would be willing for the government to lift sanctions on Iran if that was a condition for resumed talks.
- Even if the nuclear deal proves unsuccessful, only 36% of Americans would support ground military intervention in Iran versus 38% who oppose it.
- 69% of Jewish voters support U.S. reentery into the Iran nuclear agreement.
- A majority of Americans – 57 % – said that U.S. should participate in the Iran nuclear deal.
- A clear majority of Iranians – 69% – said that Tehran should comply with the JCPOA if the U.S. lifted sanctions.
- A plurality of general public (44%), veterans (42%), and military households (44%) are in favor of more diplomacy over military action to deal with Iran.
- 71% of registered voters approve (43% strongly, 28% somewhat) of President Trump’s decision not to take further military action against Iran after Iran’s January missile launch. Only 14% (7% strongly, 7% somewhat) of registered voters disapproved of that.
- 47% of Americans believe the U.S. made a mistake sending military troops to Afghanistan, versus 46% who said it was not a mistake.
- A majority of veterans (68%) strongly or somewhat support a full withdrawal from Iraq.
- Veterans by and large (56%) want less military engagement.
- A vast majority of the general public (80%) believe our military engagement around the world should be reduced or stay about the same.
- A plurality (48%) think the U.S. should be less militarily engaged in the world. Only 7% think we should be more engaged.
- 74% of respondents support, either strongly (44%) or somewhat (30%), bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq, with only 11% in opposition.
- 75% of Americans oppose US military support to the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition in Yemen.
- 82% agree Congress must vote to end or decrease arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
- Two-thirds of Americans (66%) believe that no country should be allowed to have nuclear weapons, including majorities of Republicans (54%), Democrats (78%), and Independents (64%).
- 49% of Americans think that the US should work with the other nuclear-armed countries to eliminate all nuclear weapons globally.
- 79% of Americans are concerned about the president’s “sole authority” to launch a nuclear strike. Of the 79%, 71% see a No First Use policy as a practical remedy.
- 80% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans support bipartisan cooperation to “reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world.”
- 88% of Democrats, 69% of Independents, and 54% of Republicans support a policy slate including No First Use, negotiated weapons reductions, and spending only what is required for deterrence.
Peace Action’s Policy Briefings
Peace Action’s Policy Briefings are oriented towards current Members of Congress. They offer in-depth policy analysis and steps Members of Congress can take to shape U.S. policies in specific issue areas. Also included is a list of congressional action steps, which put all of our core asks for Members of Congress in one place.
June 2023 policy analysis prescribing approaches for reducing Pentagon bloat. Includes: Rein in Pentagon Spending to Address Real Security Threats; Americans Want Money in Human Needs, Not the Pentagon; Misuse and Gouging: Pentagon Spending Has Been Wasteful for Years; and Steps Members of Congress Can Take.
June 2023 policy analysis on the need to end U.S. support of the Saudi-led war on Yemen. Includes: Momentum Toward Peace is Growing; The Need for Humanitarian Aid in Yemen is Dire; The U.S. Should Assist in Funding Yemen’s Reconstruction; and Steps Members of Congress Can Take.
June 2023 policy analysis on supporting Palestinian human rights. Includes: Human Rights Concerns Must Become More Central in U.S.-Israel Policy; H.R.3103 Looks to Protect the Rights of Palestinian Children and Families; and Steps Members of Congress Can Take.
June 2023 policy analysis on reducing the threat of nuclear weapons. Includes: Avoiding a New Nuclear Arms Race and Wasteful Nuclear Spending Allows Smarter Spending on Human Needs; New Nuclear Weapons Are Destabilizing and Dangerous; Adopting a No-First-Use Policy Would Keep Our Communities Safer; and Steps Members of Congress Can Take.
These Policy Briefings are not actively being circulated to Members of Congress, but can help in messaging on the issues.
July 2022 policy analysis prescribing best action for Ukraine. Includes: End Bloodshed, Avert a Global Economic Crisis, & Prevent Nuclear Catastrophe; The U.S. Must Avoid and Prevent Escalation, Resist Expanding War Aims; and Steps Members of Congress Can Take.
March 2022 policy analysis on the current crisis in Afghanistan and ways U.S. policy can impact it. Includes: Unfreezing Afghan Funds in a Safeguarded Way Would Buoy Their Economy and Steps Members of Congress Can Take.
How can I get Peace Action’s endorsement?
Simply fill out our Candidate Questionnaire here and we’ll get back to you.
Note: We only endorse candidates running for office on the federal level. We appreciate all those who run for state and local elections, but only make endorsements for U.S. House of Representatives or U.S. Senate.
What is Peace Action?
Peace Action is the nation’s largest grassroots peace network with chapters and affiliates in states across the country. We organize our network to place pressure on Congress and the administration through write-in campaigns, internet actions, citizen lobbying and direct action. Through close relationships with allies in Congress, we play a key role in devising strategies to move forward peace legislation. As a leading member of various coalitions, we lend our expertise and large network to achieving common goals.
You can read more on our Who We Are page.
Who has Peace Action endorsed this election cycle?
You can visit our Candidate Endorsements page to see an up to date list.
How can Peace Action help my campaign?
We may be able to help in the following areas:
- PAC contribution
- Online bundling
- In-kind donation of organizer
- Issue expertise and messaging advice
- In-kind donation of other services (phone banking tools, etc.)
- Local and/or national press release on endorsement
- Quotes for your press release and other communications
- Recruiting volunteers inside and/or outside of district or state
- Voter outreach phone banking
- Hosting events
- Other requests