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Most Americans Worried About War With Russia, See Conflict With China As ‘Likely’

A Rasmussen poll released Thursday found that roughly half of Americans are worried the U.S. will go to war with a major nuclear-armed power in the near future.

The Scott Rasmussen National Survey found that 58% of Americans felt “somewhat” or “very worried” the ongoing war in Ukraine could lead to a conflict between the U.S. and Russia, and exactly half of respondents said they thought it likely that the next decade could see war with China. Roughly a third of respondents said President Biden had done a “good” or “excellent” job at managing the situation in Russia and Ukraine, while 24% rated his performance as “fair.”

“In just 18 months America went from strength on the world stage under Donald Trump to weakness under Joe Biden, and sadly our adversaries are taking notice. It seems voters are taking notice, too,” Mark Meadows, chief of staff under former President Donald Trump, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

A majority of Americans are closely or “somewhat closely” watching the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, according to the poll.

More than half of Americans thought China had the capability to reach the U.S. with a nuclear warhead and, if China did launch a nuclear attack, that U.S. defense systems are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to stop it. An FBI investigation begun in 2017 found sustained Chinese espionage activities targeting Department of Defense communications, including those related to U.S. nuclear weapons, that could disrupt a U.S. response, CNN reported Monday.

While the U.S. and Russia possess a preponderance of nuclear weapons, China is expanding its arsenal and developing systems capable of delivering atomic weapons across the Pacific, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The results come as tensions with China and Russia, countries U.S. military officials perceive as peer competitors, have risen to a fever pitch not experienced in decades.

The survey also suggests that fears have not abated since the early moments of the war in Ukraine.

In March, a poll from The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found a significant majority of Americans worried the war in Ukraine could spark a hot war between the U.S. and Russia, with 47% reporting being “extremely” or “very” concerned. An NBC poll also found that 16% believed the U.S. was already at war with Russia, and 41% feared the U.S. could have boots on the ground within a year.

However, most Americans are not willing to contend with Russia over Ukraine, according to an analysis from FiveThirtyEight.

A December 2021 survey conducted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute revealed a bipartisan group comprising 71% feared a war could break out between the U.S. and China, Newsweek reported.

The poll surveyed 1,200 registered voters from July 19-21, 2022 and had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

The White House and the Pentagon did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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