According to a University of Maryland survey released Wednesday, 79% of Americans support US defense budget cuts, including nuclear weapons and missile defense. Defense cuts polled well across party lines, with 86% of Democrats, 71% of Republicans, and 78% of Independents supporting, respectively.
Republicans, a group that identifies with fiscal conservatism, had the lowest appetite for defense cuts, with respondents favoring $12 billion in defense cuts.
Independents, by contrast, land in the middle of the road, calling for $20 billion in cuts.
The "tax and spend liberals," as the GOP loves to call Democrats, would take a hacksaw to the defense industry budget, favoring a sizable curtailment of defense industry funding, some $36 billion.
The poll, conducted between December 20 and February 1 surveyed 7,126 respondents across the US, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 percent.
Respondents expressed concern at how much the US defense budget has grown, with 56% nationally saying that the 2015 US $573 billion defense budget was more than they realized.
Despite the vast majority of respondents advocating defense cuts, the results surprisingly found that 56% favored keeping the 5,500 troops currently deployed in Afghanistan to maintain a defense presence.
Additionally, 56% of Americans favored continued defense spending on the development of a long range strike bomber, the B-21.
Finally, the perennial favorite, the US nuclear submarine fleet, remains popular, with 54% of Americans opposed to shrinking the fleet.