Vivek Ramaswamy, one of Republican presidential candidates, suggests in his article that China is American main rival and that it is wise to get Russia's neutrality in exchange for compromising on Ukraine.

A good deal requires all parties to get something out of it. To that end, I will accept Russian control of the occupied territories and pledge to block Ukraine’s candidacy for NATO in exchange for Russia exiting its military alliance with China. I will end sanctions and bring Russia back into the world market. In this way, I will elevate Russia as a strategic check on China’s designs in East Asia.

How is this idea viewed by American voters?

  • 2
    Question assumes that more than a small fraction of Americans know who Ramaswamy is, let alone his policy proposals. Aug 29 at 15:36
  • 3
    In a recent poll, fully 61% of voters can't even say if they like Ramaswamy or not, I expect rather few people have formed an opinion on any of his platform specifics. poll.qu.edu/poll-release?releaseid=3877 Aug 29 at 15:43
  • Ramaswamy is running for president of the US, not president of "the world market". Does he think that the US is the only country that has imposed sanction on Russia? Is he going to just order our allies to drop their sanctions? This statements reeks of arrogance: he's going to decide for Ukraine what territories it has to give up, and decide for the "world market" who is and who isn't allowed in. Sep 2 at 4:38

1 Answer 1


How popular is Vivek Ramaswamy's idea with the American voters to compromise with Russia on Ukraine, in exchange for Russia dropping its alliance with China?

Short Answer

Foreign policy is typically not the largest influence on the American electorate. Most Americans vote their pocketbook traditionally. This means lower taxes, lower spending, or government programs which personally benefit themselves. In 2024, a second motivation might be women reproductive healthcare rights based on the 2022 interim elections and 2023 ballot initiative results. So Russia and China issues likely aren't going to weigh heavily on the Presidential vote in 2024.

Also I would say Vivek Ramaswamy's "compromise" is a two part question.

  1. What is the popularity of defunding Ukraine?
  2. What's the popularity of using that in a barter with Russia.

For this we will judge the popularity based on the support for Presidential candidates within the Republican Party, who have professed these positions and then translate that as a percentage of the American electorate. Given the first paragraph, these issues are not the primary appeal of those candidates.

Cutting aid to Ukraine?

Perhaps 50%-75%+ popular inside the Republican Party. That's surprisingly popular for a party which traditionally prides itself on foreign policy chops and peace through strength philosophy. That translates to perhaps less than 20% of the voting electorate.

I would also add, when I walk out my front door in the morning, now more than 500 days after the start of the war, in my neighborhood many houses fly the Ukrainian Flag. Support is very strong for Ukraine in the United States. It's shocking some percent of Republicans oppose support for Ukraine given the history of the Party.

Exchanging the aid cuts to get Russian neutrality?

2% maybe. I don't think most Americans think such a pledge coming from Russia would be meaningful. Cutting aid to Ukraine is outwardly driven by a resurgence of isolationism as well as a money saving appeal. I think Ramaswamy alone is proposing this barter, and his over arching "strategy" of aligning US foreign policy with India runs a little counter to that isolationism trend. Like many Ramaswamy initiatives, bold, impressive as a sound bite, but not really very well thought out.

More Detailed Answer

For dropping aid to Ukraine, Vivek Ramaswamy and Donald Trump both support this policy. We should throw in Ron Desantis too, as he came out with such a policy before rescinding his words when faced with strong pushback from his Republican supporters. Together these candidates are the top 3 in the polls currently for the Republican nomination.

Who’s ahead in the national polls?

They enjoy 9%, 49.5%, 15% support respectively as I am writing this answer. This is among Republican Voters. On December 17, 2020, Gallup polling found that 31% of Americans identified as Democrats, 25% identified as Republicans, and 41% as Independent. So that Joint support from all three front runner Republican candidates amounts to 74% of Republicans. This 74% x 25% equates to 18.5% of American voters. That's generous, because Ron Desantis did rescind his. None of these candidates enjoys any significant support among Democrats or Independents and many Republicans support aid to Ukraine. This includes the majority of Republican Senators lead by Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader who is probable the senior Republican leader in office presently.

As for dropping aid to Ukraine in exchange for President Putin's pinky promise to distance himself from China. I think that's just Vivek Ramaswamy. So maybe a percentage of his 2% of the American electorate. Ramaswamy suggests the U.S. foreign policy should be brought more in line with India's interests. Here I don't think Donald Trump nor Ron Desantis nor anybody else would agree. Most don't feel the Chinese situation needs to get openly hostile. India feels much more threatened because of recent hostilities and their history and proximity; but India attended the recent BRICS conference and still trades with China. Americans support close ties with India, even security ties. Their position on China is hostilities are not inevitable and we should engage with them economically where we can. In the press, on the news nobody is speaking of walking away from Allie’s except some Republicans most people I know believe Russia when they've said Poland and the Baltics are next after Ukraine. Poland and the Baltics are NATO, which means we're all in. The surest way to avoid a world war is not to rely on President Putin's tender heart, but to ensure Ukraine has everything they need to defend themselves. America's percentage of that aid so far is about $78 billion all in since the Russian Invasion, or 8% of an annual U.S peace time defense budget, or .33% of GDP; which isn't that much when you think of what's at stake. During the Cold war the U.S. kept a million men in Europe to protect from the Soviet Union for 50 years. Clearly the U.S. is more secure when we act in unison with our allies.

How Much Aid Has the U.S. Sent Ukraine?

Note that No Republican Presidential Candidate has won the popular vote for Presidency in the last 19 years. George W. Bush in 2004 was the last Republican to do so. Taking into effect current events inside the United States, ( 2022 midterm elections, 2023 ballot initiatives, and current polls) 2024 election is unlikely to change that trend. I offer this fact to demonstrate that while the Republican Party enjoys ardent support from it's constituency, the above demonstrates their policies are out of step with the majority of Americans and have been consistently for 20 years.

  • There is some token support for Russia among the far left, and assuming Independents are almost all against it seems unfounded, but otherwise a great anser
    – bharring
    Aug 29 at 18:12
  • 1
    @bharring, good point. They exist, I didn't mention them because they are unlikely to vote based on that issue and the Democratic leader who will most likely receive their votes isn't changing his position on support for Ukraine. In general as you say token support for defunding Ukraine on the left, with the two most vocal liberal leaders in the senate and house, Bernie and AOC supporting Ukrainian aid.
    – user47010
    Aug 29 at 18:25
  • The last paragraph seems to me to be somewhat unrelated to the OP's question
    – SJuan76
    Aug 30 at 14:08
  • @SJuan76, tried to better explain why I thought it was related to the overall popularity of Republican policies over the last 20 years.
    – user47010
    Aug 30 at 15:26
  • The numbers in this answer do not seem to be very well founded in empirical research (polls, ...). There might be a large bias or uncertainty possible. Not that I don't see the reasoning but I think it's better to say that it's rather unknown. Aug 30 at 16:21

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