Americans on Nato


Celebrations of the 70th anniversary of NATO on April 4 may be clouded by concerns about statements by Donald Trump questioning the US commitment to NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. However, a new survey finds that 83% of American voters favor the US continuing to be part of NATO, including 90% of Democrats, but also 77% of Republicans and 76% of those who voted for Trump.

Concerns about the US commitment to NATO have been sparked by Donald Trump’s characterization of NATO as “obsolete,” and his statements that he might consider withdrawing the US from NATO if other NATO members do not increase their military spending.

Respondents were informed about the controversy stemming from US pressure to get European NATO allies to spend more on their militaries. While the European allies have agreed to raise their spending to two percent of GDP, many have failed to do so.

Presented three options, only 12% endorsed pressing European allies “to spend more on their military and say that if they do not the US will disengage from Europe militarily and possibly withdraw from NATO”—21% of Republicans, 4% of Democrats. Thirty-five percent favored pressing the Europeans but not making threats.


A policymaking simulation is an online process that puts citizens in the shoes of elected officials by simulating the process they go through in making policy decisions. Each simulation introduces a broader policy topic and then presents a series of modules that address a specific policy option that is currently under consideration in the current discourse.

For each module, respondents:

  1. receive a short briefing on a policy issue and the option or options for addressing it;
  2. evaluate arguments for and against the policy options; and
  3. finally, make their recommendation for what their elected officials should do.