July 22, 2016 | By Dina Smeltz, Karl Friedhoff, Craig Kafura

Republicans Back Trump, but Not All of his Policies

At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the party's top goal was to unite Republicans and expand Donald Trump’s appeal to the general electorate. A new survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, conducted June 10-27, 2016, found that a large majority of Republicans are now getting behind the GOP nominee. At the same time, there are some clear contrasts between the core supporters of Donald Trump and those who wanted another candidate to win the party's nomination. These differences will pose an ongoing challenge to the party leadership, and the challenge will be even greater when attempting to bridge divides with the broader public.

Areas of difference include:

  • National Security: Core Trump supporters are somewhat less likely than Republicans who supported a non-Trump candidate to say that maintaining existing alliances is a very effective way to achieve US foreign policy goals (34% vs. 42%). Similarly, only four in ten core Trump supporters (44%) say that NATO is essential to US security, while a majority among those who backed other candidates (61%) say it is essential.
  • Immigration: Seven in ten of Trump's core supporters (69%) say that legal immigration should be decreased, compared to 45 percent among Republicans who supported a different candidate.
  • Trade and Globalization: Only half of Trump's core supporters (50%) say that globalization is mostly good for the United States, compared to 62 percent of those that supported other candidates.

 

For more details on Trump's base of support and their views on foreign policy, read the full Chicago Council Survey brief

About

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs highlights critical shifts in American public thinking on US foreign policy through public opinion surveys and research conducted under the Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy. 

The annual Chicago Council Survey, first conducted in 1974, is a valuable resource for policymakers, academics, media, and the general public. The Council also surveys American leaders in government, business, academia, think tanks, and religious organizations biennially to compare trends in their thinking with overall trends. And collaborating with partner organizations, the survey team periodically conducts parallel surveys of public opinion in other regions of the world to compare with US public opinion. 

The Running Numbers blog features regular commentary and analysis from the Council’s public opinion and US foreign policy research team, including a series of flash polls of a select group of foreign policy experts to assess their opinions on critical foreign policy topics driving the news.

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