As the United States and Cuba continue to work towards a normalization of the relationship, results from the new 2015 Chicago Council Survey show that Americans favor lifting the trade embargo on Cuba and believe the proposed changes in US-Cuba relations will benefit both countries.
Americans Support Ending Cuba Trade Embargo
Two in three Americans (67%) support the United States ending the trade embargo with Cuba.
Support for ending the embargo is bipartisan, with majorities of Democrats (79%), Republicans (59%), and Independents (63%) all in favor of lifting the ban on US trade with Cuba that has been in place for over half a century.
US Public Confident in Benefits from New Cuba Relations
A majority of Americans are very or somewhat confident that the proposed changes in US-Cuba relations will have benefits for both countries. Majorities of Americans say the changes will help the Cuban economy (70%), help US businesses (62%), improve living standards in Cuba (60%), improve the image of the US in the world (57%), improve human rights in Cuba (54%), and improve political freedoms in Cuba (53%).
There is limited bipartisan agreement on the results of these changes: majorities of all partisan stripes are very or somewhat confident that the proposed changes in US-Cuba relations will help the Cuban economy (78% Democrats, 65% Republicans, 70% Independents).
But on other issues, Democrats and Independents are more confident than Republicans in the benefits. Majorities of both Democrats and Independents are confident that the changes will help US businesses and improve Cuban standards of living, while Republicans are divided. Democrats are also more confident than Republicans that the proposed changes in US-Cuba relations will improve the image of the US in the world and improve human rights and political freedoms in Cuba.
Americans Not Confident Changes will Weaken Cuban Government
While Americans support lifting the trade embargo on Cuba and are confident in many benefits, they are less confident that these benefits will include political consequences. A majority of the public is not confident that the proposed changes will weaken the Cuban government (64%), a position shared across party lines (73% Republicans, 54% Democrats, 66% Independents).
About the Chicago Council Survey
The analysis in this report is based on data from the 2015 Chicago Council Survey of the American public on foreign policy. The 2015 Chicago Council Survey was conducted by GfK Custom Research using their large-scale, nationwide online research panel between May 25 to June 17, 2015 among a national sample of 2,034 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. The margin of error ranges from ± 2.2 to ± 3.1 percentage points depending on the specific question, with higher margins of error for partisan subgroups.
The 2015 Chicago Council Survey is made possible by the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the Korea Foundation, the United States-Japan Foundation, and the personal support of Lester Crown and the Crown family.
Craig Kafura, Research Associate
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, July 1, 2015