The Trump Divide and Partisan Attitudes Regarding US Foreign Policy: Select Theoretical and Empirical Observations

Published date01 January 2019
Date01 January 2019
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1177/0020881718824488
Subject MatterArticles
The Trump Divide
and Partisan
Attitudes Regarding
US Foreign Policy:
Select Theoretical and
Empirical Observations
Shah M. Tarzi1
Abstract
This article presents select data, recent trends and empirical analysis concern-
ing American voters’ attitudes on American foreign policy in the Trump era.
Accordingly, it addresses several vital questions: (a) whether and to what extent
Trump Republicans hold views that are distinct from non-Trump Republicans and
from average US voters?; (b) how widespread is support for President Trump’s
foreign policy?; and (c) whether partisanship has intensified? Importantly, the
study deduces preliminary theoretical observations and highlights select new
pathways for future research. The key findings of the article are: (a) Trump
supporters hold distinct views from the general public; (b) President Trump’s
positions are not popular; (c) partisanship has intensified under Trump; (d) on
the broad contours of American foreign policy, the American public, including
the non-Trump Republicans, express noteworthy continuity, stability and sup-
port in spite of a deeply polarizing American president. The article offers select
theoretical insights, including recognition of the role of core value in ordering
belief systems, thereby offering a modicum of internal coherence, stability and
structure to foreign policy views of American mass public, thus transcending
the traditional Almond–Lippmann theoretical consensus regarding the content
of American public opinion.
Keywords
Trump, partisan attitudes and foreign policy
Article
1 Institute of International Studies, Bradley University, Peoria, IL, USA.
Corresponding author:
Shah M. Tarzi, Institute of International Studies, Bradley University, 830 N Elmwood Ave, Peoria,
IL 61625 0003, USA.
E-mail: tarzi@fsmail.bradley.edu
International Studies
56(1) 46–57, 2019
2019 Jawaharlal Nehru University
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DOI: 10.1177/0020881718824488
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