Americans Reaffirm Support for Increased US Defense Spending and Global Military Presence, 2023 Reagan National Defense Survey Finds

The Reagan National Defense Survey, now in its sixth year, is conducted by the bipartisan polling team of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw and Company Research (R) on behalf of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute. Over 2,500 US adults provided opinions on a wide array of defense, military, and foreign policy issues – including an in-depth exploration of opinions on the conflict in the Middle East,  Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and US-China relations.

As debate over defense spending on Capitol Hill heats up, a majority of Americans (77%) support increasing military spending and express concern that spending cuts will reduce overall military capabilities (67%). Support for increased spending has stayed consistent over the years, remaining above 70% since 2018. Across both sides of the aisle, support remains high, with at least seven-in-ten Democrats, Republicans, and independents in favor of increased spending.

The survey also finds that opponents of aid to Ukraine and Israel, while vocal, are decidedly in the minority. At least two-thirds support defense assistance to Israel (71%) and Ukraine (67%); nearly as many (65%) support military aid to Taiwan. There is also strong and consistent support for maintaining a global military presence: two-thirds (66%) think it is better to maintain military bases around the world.

Check out the latest coverage of the survey in Newsweek and on Fox News.

More information about the Reagan National Defense Survey can be found here, including the topline, slide deck, and executive memo.