Democrats Say Russia Is America’s Greatest Enemy, While Republicans and Independents Say It’s China   

Who Americans see as the nation’s top adversary varies significantly along party lines.  

WHY IT MATTERS – It will be difficult for the United States to have a consistent foreign policy if Americans are divided on what our priorities should be.   


  • 67% of Republicans see China as the nation’s greatest enemy compared to just 18% of Democrats.  
  • 48% of Democrats see Russia as the nation’s greatest enemy compared to 10% of Republicans.  
  • Independents are closer to Republicans on this issue – 40% see China as America’s greatest enemy while 21% say it is Russia.  

CHANGES FROM 2023 – The Israel and Gaza conflict and domestic strife in the United States has produced a shift from last year.  

  • 41% of all Americans see China as the nation’s greatest enemy, a 9% decline year over year. 
  • 26% of all Americans see Russia as the nation’s greatest enemy, a 6% decline year over year.  
  • 9% of Americans view Iran as the nation’s greatest enemy, up 7% from 2023.    
  • 5% of Americans see the U.S. itself as its greatest enemy, the highest level ever recorded. This surge has been stimulated by Independents, 11% of whom ranked the U.S. first. 
  • Favorability of Israel and the Palestinian Authority have declined 10% and 8% respectively, year over year.  

THE BOTTOM LINE – Who Americans view as the nation’s main adversary has remained relatively stable since 2023, with China and Russia listed No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. The largest shift in attitudes has involved Middle Eastern countries and can likely be attributed to the Israel-Hamas War.

GO DEEPERAmericans Still See China as Nation’s Top Foe, Russia Second