The US Alliance

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The Institute has surveyed Australian attitudes towards the US alliance since the Lowy Institute Poll first asked this question in 2005. These charts track Australian sentiment about the alliance over the full eleven years of Lowy Institute polling.

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Australia-US Relations

THE US ALLIANCE

In the context of intense media attention on the Trump candidacy and general disquiet about the US political process, the number of Australians who now see our alliance with the United States as either very or fairly important to Australia’s security has fallen significantly, down nine points to 71%. This is the second-lowest level of support on this measure in our 12-year polling history, although eight points higher than the lowest result of 63% in 2007, towards the end of the presidency of George W. Bush. That year, 69% of Australian adults said that ‘President George W. Bush’ caused them to feel unfavourably towards the United States. Overall support for the alliance has also slipped slightly (down three points to 93% saying the alliance is very, fairly or somewhat important to Australia’s security).

DONALD TRUMP AND AUSTRALIA-US RELATIONS

Faced with the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency in the United States, almost half (45%) of Australian adults say that ‘Australia should distance itself from the United States if it elects a president like Donald Trump’. Only a bare majority (51%) say we ‘should remain close to the United States regardless of who is elected US President’.

This result is striking in the context of Australians’ very consistent support for the ANZUS alliance over the history of the Lowy Institute Poll. Overall support for the alliance (the proportion of Australian adults who say the alliance is either ‘very’, ‘fairly’ or ‘somewhat’ important to Australia’s security) has never dropped below 90%.

Even among the strongest supporters of the alliance (those who say it is very or fairly important), nearly four in ten (39%) say Australia should distance itself from the United States if it elects a president like Donald Trump, suggesting that the ‘Trump factor’ may be having an impact on Australians’ support for the alliance.

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Importance of US Alliance

How important is our alliance relationship with the United States for Australia’s security?


  • HOW TO USE
    • Hover cursor over chart segments to view data. Click responses in the legend to switch individual results on and off.

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Australia-US Relations

THE US ALLIANCE

In the context of intense media attention on the Trump candidacy and general disquiet about the US political process, the number of Australians who now see our alliance with the United States as either very or fairly important to Australia’s security has fallen significantly, down nine points to 71%. This is the second-lowest level of support on this measure in our 12-year polling history, although eight points higher than the lowest result of 63% in 2007, towards the end of the presidency of George W. Bush. That year, 69% of Australian adults said that ‘President George W. Bush’ caused them to feel unfavourably towards the United States. Overall support for the alliance has also slipped slightly (down three points to 93% saying the alliance is very, fairly or somewhat important to Australia’s security).

DONALD TRUMP AND AUSTRALIA-US RELATIONS

Faced with the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency in the United States, almost half (45%) of Australian adults say that ‘Australia should distance itself from the United States if it elects a president like Donald Trump’. Only a bare majority (51%) say we ‘should remain close to the United States regardless of who is elected US President’.

This result is striking in the context of Australians’ very consistent support for the ANZUS alliance over the history of the Lowy Institute Poll. Overall support for the alliance (the proportion of Australian adults who say the alliance is either ‘very’, ‘fairly’ or ‘somewhat’ important to Australia’s security) has never dropped below 90%.

Even among the strongest supporters of the alliance (those who say it is very or fairly important), nearly four in ten (39%) say Australia should distance itself from the United States if it elects a president like Donald Trump, suggesting that the ‘Trump factor’ may be having an impact on Australians’ support for the alliance.

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2015: Attitudes to US Alliance

I am now going to read you some different arguments about the alliance relationship with the United States. For each one please tell me whether you personally agree or disagree.


  • HOW TO USE
    • Hover cursor over chart segments to view data. Click responses in the legend to switch individual results on and off.

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