Stirewaltisms: What Will Voters Make of the Ukraine Invasion?
Voters very much care about consequences of international affairs, even if they shrug at the underlying cause.
WHAT WILL VOTERS MAKE OF UKRAINE INVASION?
Let’s start with my standard proviso whenever talking about foreign policy and domestic politics: Voters work hard to not care, especially in a midterm contest like this year’s.
We could probably count on one hand the number of midterms in the modern era in which foreign policy was a significant issue.
Certainly the 2002 contests in which Republicans broke the midterm curse behind George W. Bush’s still-strong post-9/11 support would qualify, but you’d also have to say that was more about national security than foreign affairs. Bush’s father and his party were pretty clearly helped in November 1990 by the ongoing response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait: Bush the elder presided over the fewest first-term House losses of any president since John Kennedy. The U.S. misadventure in Somalia pretty obviously hurt Bill Clinton and the Democrats in 1994, and maybe Clinton’s dithering on Bosnia did as well. But they had enough causes for that year’s debacle even without Warren Christopher the nuances of “lift and strike.”