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In 2020, foreign affairs ranked 12th in issues voters viewed as “extremely important,” behind the economy, health care, crime and education, according to a Gallup poll. But several candidates running in competitive districts believe President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan and the war between Russia and Ukraine may put foreign affairs front and center in the 2022 midterms.
Anna Paulina Luna, a veteran who is running for Congress in Florida’s 13th district, told Fox News Digital foreign policy is now affecting things like gas prices in America, making it a top issue in the upcoming midterms.
“I really think that people, although they might not understand the nuts and bolts of it, they understand that if you have bad foreign policy, it’s going to hit you in your pocketbook. And that’s really how I break it down to voters,” she said.
Morgan Ortagus, who is running for Congress in Tennessee and is also an active U.S. Navy Reserve Officer, told Fox News Digital she believes Americans are “embarrassed” by Biden’s actions on the world stage, bringing foreign policy to the forefront in their minds.
Ortagus pointed to both Afghanistan and Ukraine as failures of the Biden administration that Americans would remember.
“I think it will be forever ingrained in the American psyche, the images of the young people, of the teenagers in Afghanistan holding on to the American plane as it took off,” she said. “I mean, what a disgusting national embarrassment.”
New York candidate Liz Joy said the global crises in Ukraine and Afghanistan have left her constituents “afraid.”
“Besides the border, besides Afghanistan and Russia and Ukraine, they feel like their livelihoods are threatened,” she told Fox News Digital. “They feel like they feel less safe in America. … America is much weaker, and on the world stage, people don’t like that, and they’re going to vote, I believe, very strongly.”
Despite these concerns among voters, most Americans do not cite foreign policy as the top problem facing the United States. In a recent Gallup study, 17% of Americans cited the high cost of living and inflation as the most pressing problem facing the country, while 22% said the government and poor leadership, and 9% said the situation with Russia and Ukraine. Those who are most concerned with the situation in Ukraine has risen by 7% since February 2022, while concerns about coronavirus and immigration have dropped.
House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik said Biden and congressional Democrats have created multiple crises, and Biden’s foreign policy blunders are just one of them, but it is affecting Americans’ everyday lives.
“Inflation, they’re feeling firsthand,” she said. “Energy prices, they’re feeling firsthand. Safety and security. But as they are reading and watching the news every day, Americans are concerned about how weak of a commander-in-chief we have on a global stage.”
“In just over a year, Joe Biden’s foreign policy has unraveled, whether it was Israel under attack, whether it was the catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan or whether it’s now the most significant war in Europe since the end of World War II. And Americans know they want peace through strength,” Stefanik added.