Given all these developments, many are wondering how presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump would handle such events if he became president. Trump is a businessman with no real political record. It has becoming increasingly clear that Trump views the world very differently than the U.S. foreign policy establishment.
And, perhaps more importantly, so do his supporters.
A poll from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs released Monday contrasts the views of Trump's core supporters and Republicans who wanted another candidate to win their party's nomination. It reveals a remarkable divergence of opinion about the world and America's place in it among supporters of the same party.
When looking at the difference in opinions between those who name Trump as their "top choice for president" (31 percent) and those who name a different candidate (65 percent), a few themes stand out. First, almost 70 percent of supporters of other potential candidates said they favored the United States playing an active role in world affairs, but only 55 percent of core Trump supporters agreed.
Trump supporters are also more likely to question foreign policy orthodoxy, with only 34 percent saying that maintaining existing alliances is a very effective way to achieve U.S. foreign policy goals.
That pattern continues with regard to NATO, one of the world's longest-lasting and most important military alliances. Only around four in 10 core Trump supporters say that NATO is essential to U.S. security vs. 61 percent of those who favored other candidates.
These concerns are reflected in ideas about trade, too. Only half of core Trump supporters say globalization is good for the country, while 62 percent of those who preferred other candidates do. Trump supporters are also more concerned about protecting American jobs (86 percent deem it very important, compared with 72 percent of other Republicans), and less than half (47 percent) supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, as opposed to 58 percent of supporters of other candidates, the poll found.
Attitudes to immigration also diverge. Almost seven out of 10 core Trump supporters say legal immigration should be decreased, compared with 45 percent of other Republicans. Trump backers are also more than 20 percentage points less likely to express a favorable view of Middle Eastern and Mexican immigrants currently in the United States and a whopping 93 percent favor building a wall on the border with Mexico, vs. 72 percent of other Republicans.
Core Trump supporters are more likely to say that controlling the flow of refugees and migrants will be effective in countering terrorist attacks; 86 percent believe this, compared with 74 percent of other Republicans.
And they are also more likely to say that the use of torture can be effective.
The poll was conducted between June 10 and June 27, with a national sample of 2,061 adults. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs says the margin of error varies between 7.9 to 11.2 points among Republicans, depending on the question.
The poll did find some areas of agreement between Trump's base and the rest of the Republican Party, including over the top security threats for the country and support for a continuing U.S. military presence around the world. Overall, however, the many differences between Trump's base and the rest of the party are notable.
These results back up other polls, such as one released by the Pew Research Center in May, that pointed to big differences in opinions about global events.
The Pew poll had found that 77 percent of core Trump supporters viewed "overwhelming military force" as the best means of defeating terrorism, while 68 percent of supporters of other candidates felt the same. More dramatic still were attitudes to Muslims living in the United States. While 45 percent of non-Trump supporters said American Muslims should be subject to more scrutiny, almost 50 percent said they should not face additional scrutiny just because of their religion. About 64 percent of Trump's core supporters said Muslims should face scrutiny, while only 28 said they should not.
For those watching the presidential race in America, these polls reveal the surprising diversity of views between the Republicans who support Trump and those who would prefer another candidate. But for those watching and considering Trump's foreign policy moves, they prompt a different response. The man who may end up leading the most powerful country in the world is being supported by voters who have a remarkably different view of America's global role than many others in their own party. The mandate he would be given could lead him in unorthodox directions when making decisions about U.S. foreign policy.
Yet, despite the difference in worldviews, Republicans who hoped for a leader other than Trump are falling in line. The Chicago Council found that while only 31 percent of Republicans said Trump was their top choice, 83 percent of self-described Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they would vote for him against Hillary Clinton.
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